© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Safer Communities Summit at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and India declared themselves “among the world’s closest partners” on Thursday during a state visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington hosted by President Joe Biden.
Washington is frustrated with India’s close ties to Russia as Moscow wages war on Ukraine. Modi did not address China or Russia directly, and Biden only mentioned China in response to a reporter’s question. But a joint statement released by the two after their private 2.5-hour meeting appeared to target both nations.
Both sides stressed the importance of a “rules-based international order”, saying that “the contemporary global order has been built on the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty. and the territorial integrity of States”.
“The United States and India reaffirmed their resolve to thwart any attempt to unilaterally overthrow the multilateral system.”
The two leaders “expressed their deep concern over the conflict in Ukraine and mourned its terrible and tragic humanitarian consequences”, noting the “serious and growing impacts of the war on the global economic system, including on food, energy and energy, and supply chains.”
The two countries pledged to “continue humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people” and “agreed on the importance of post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine”.
INDO-PACIFIC AND SOUTH CHINA SEA
The two men “reiterated their enduring commitment to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous India-Pacific region with respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as international law”, while expressing their “concern about coercive actions and rising tensions” and their opposition to “destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force.”
The leaders “stressed the importance of respect for international law, in particular as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of the freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet the challenges of the rules-based maritime order. , including in the East and South China Seas.”