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PM Modi, Biden to meet at G7, US says will keep raising murder plot at high level | India News

NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi is likely to meet US President Joe Biden Friday on the margins of the G7 summit in southern Italy’s Puglia region. With Biden headed to Italy, White House said aboard Air Force One there’s an “encounter” likely between the 2 leaders as the president expects to see the Indian PM there, while reiterating it will continue to raise the foiled Sikh separatist murder plot at very senior levels with India.
This is the first time the leaders will meet after their bilateral talks over dinner at Modi’s residence here, on the eve of the G20 summit India hosted last year in September. While a formal bilateral meeting isn’t ruled out in Italy, it’s possible that the leaders might just have a pull-aside because of scheduling constraints.
PM Modi, in fact, will have a hectic bilateral schedule at G7 with meetings already confirmed with French president Emmanuel Macron, UK PM Rishi Sunak, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. Modi is also likely to meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He had met him at the G7 summit in Hiroshima too last year. Zelenskyy had invited Modi for the peace summit in Switzerland, but India never considered participation at the highest level because of efforts to keep Russia out. There was no meeting scheduled with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau till late on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, US NSA Jake Sullivan also said that the foiled murder-for-hire plot against Khalistan separatist and US national Gurpatwant Singh Pannun will be “a continuing topic of dialogue between the US and India, including at very senior levels”. Diplomatic sources did not rule out the possibility of the issue coming up in the Modi-Biden meeting.
Biden had taken up the issue during his meeting with Modi in September and Sullivan is himself likely to discuss progress, or lack thereof, in the probe India is conducting into the US allegations that an Indian official masterminded the plot during his visit to India next week. While the visit has not been officially announced yet, Sullivan is scheduled to be here on June 18. He’s expected to meet his counterpart for a comprehensive review of the initiative on critical and emerging technology (iCET) that Modi and Biden had launched in May 2022.
“He (Biden) expects to see Prime Minister Modi here. It’s up to the Indians to formally confirm his attendance, but our expectation is that the two of them will have the opportunity to encounter one another. The nature of that encounter is still fluid because so much of the schedule is fluid,” said Sullivan.
Asked about the issue by reporters accompanying the president, Sullivan said the US will continue to raise the issue, like in the past, at the highest level with India. “We have made our views known on this issue, and it will be a continuing topic of dialogue between the US and India, including at very senior levels,” added the official.

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