Biden affirms G20 role, celebrates faith in India

**EDS: TO GO WITH STORY** New Delhi: US President Joe Biden with Father Nicholas Dias, Secretary for the Liturgy Commission for the Delhi Archdiocese, in New Delhi, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (PTI Photo)(PTI09_10_2023_000363B)

During his first presidential visit to India, US President Joe Biden underscored the critical role of the G20 in addressing global crises and celebrated the enduring connection to his faith in a personal communion service.
Speaking as he departed for Vietnam, Biden affirmed the G20’s ability to forge solutions to urgent global issues amidst economic instability driven by climate crisis, fragility, and conflict.
“At a moment when the global economy is suffering… this year’s Summit proved that the G20 can still drive solutions to our most pressing issues,” Biden conveyed in a post after paying homage at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat with other leaders.
Biden, who arrived in the national capital on Friday, engaged in a constructive dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “deepen and diversify” the US-India major defence partnership, noting significant advancements including India’s drone procurement and collaborative jet engine development. The leaders convened over a 50-minute discussion, punctuating a series of vital sessions throughout the G20
Simultaneously, the President nurtured his spiritual connections in a personal communion service held ahead of the summit, facilitated by Father Nicholas Dias, secretary for the Delhi Archdiocese’s liturgy commission. In a heartfelt conversation that navigated the origins of Christianity in India and the prominent influence of Biden’s grandmother on his life and faith, they touched upon a shared reverence for Pope Francis and the deep history of the Indian Church.
Father Dias, who shared the traditional Goan delicacy Bebinca with the President, appreciated Biden’s “very humble” nature and his deep-seated Christian values. The commemorative meeting reached a heartfelt conclusion as Biden gifted Dias the cherished President’s Seal No 261, a gesture echoing the deep-seated connections fostered during the visit. The priest extended an invitation to Biden to attend the upcoming decennial exposition in Goa, paying homage to St. Francis Xavier, a figure deeply inspirational to Dias in his vocation.
President Biden’s holistic engagement in India signifies a step forward in fostering global solutions through the G20 summit and nurturing US-India relations grounded in shared histories and mutual respect for faith and values.