The US is quietly pressuring India to restart COVID-19 vaccine exports, Axios reported citing sources.
According to the report, the Biden administration is planning to offer a higher-profile role for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COVID-19 global summit in New York if he agrees to release vaccines soon.
Early this year, India halted vaccine exports as coronavirus cases surged in the country.
According to Axios, convincing PM Modi to resume vaccine supply, is an important part of the Biden administration’s strategy to mitigate the international spread of the virus.
An administration official acknowledged discussing vaccine exports but denied they are tied to Modi’s upcoming participation.
“We have regularly been communicating with [the] government of India in bilateral and multilateral channels to discuss vaccine supply and inquire about the timeline for exports, and these conversations are not tied to a specific summit or engagement,” the U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the US later this month to participate along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and US President Joseph R Biden, in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework.
Prime Minister is scheduled to address the General Debate of the High-Level Segment of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September 2021 in New York. The theme for this year’s General Debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations. (ANI)
Biden aides decided against trying to “strong-arm Modi by conditioning his participation on his willingness to release vaccines to COVAX”, Axios reported.
He’ll be welcomed regardless of his decision, according to one of the sources.