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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Quad Summit, in Tokyo on Tuesday. Image Credit: ANI

Tokyo: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden reached “substantive outcomes” on Tuesday in talks to strengthen their trade and defence ties, India said, though Modi refrained from condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The leaders are in Tokyo for a meeting of the Quad group of countries - the United States, India, Japan and Australia. Of the four, only India has not condemned Russia’s military intervention despite pressure from the United States for it to do so.

“Discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in trade, investment, technology, defence, P2P ties between the two countries,” Indian foreign ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said on Twitter, referring to people-to-people ties.

“Concluded with substantive outcomes adding depth and momentum to the bilateral partnership.” The White House said a statement that Biden, in the meeting with Modi, had condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but there was no mention of Modi doing so. Modi had agreed on humanitarian help for Ukraine, it said.

“The leaders committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance, and discussed how to cooperate to manage disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, in particular the rise in energy and food prices, to protect their respective citizens and the world,” the White House said. India has called for an end to the violence in Ukraine.

The United States has in recent months offered to sell more defence equipment and oil to India to pry it away from Russia.

India has also joined a US-led trade partnership, that Biden launched this week, called the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.

The White House said India would be joining the US-backed Combined Military Forces-Bahrain as an associate member. The maritime partnership has 34 members from around the world but does not include China.

Albanese hails relationship with India

On the sidelines of bilateral talks with Modi, Albanese on Monday said that the relationship with India is very important and ties between the two countries have never been more closer.

Speaking to ANI, the Australian PM said, "Our relationship with India is a very important one and it was a great honour to meet with Prime Minister Modi."

Modi congratulated Prime Minister Albanese on his election victory. Both leaders reviewed the multi-faceted cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including trade and investment, defense manufacturing, renewable energy, green hydrogen, education, science and technology, agricultural research, sports, and people-to-people ties.

Both Prime Ministers affirmed their desire to continue the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship. PM Modi extended an invitation to the Australian Prime Minister to visit India at an early date.

Bilateral discussions with PM Narendra Modi focused on Australia and India's full strategic and economic agenda, including clean energy technology.

Taking to Twitter the Australian Prime Minister wrote, "Warmly welcomed my meeting with @narendramodi for an engaging discussion on Australia and India's full strategic and economic agenda, including on clean energy technology. Australia-India ties have never been closer."