Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to India and the United States as "natural partners" during his first in-person meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Thursday, during which they agreed to strengthen the Indo-US strategic partnership and discussed global issues of mutual interest such as threats to democracy, Afghanistan, and the Indo-Pacific.
"India and the United States of America are natural partners. We share similar values and geopolitical goals "Modi made the remarks during a joint press conference with Harris, who is the first person of Indian descent to be elected Vice President of the United States.
Modi noted that India and the United States are the world's largest and oldest democracies, adding that the two countries share ideals and that their coordination and collaboration is improving.
Both leaders agreed that the bilateral relationship is on solid ground, according to Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who briefed reporters on the meeting, which lasted an hour.
This is the first meeting between the two leaders. During the COVID-19 incident in India in June, Harris spoke with Modi on the phone. "Many people around the world look up to you for inspiration. Under President Biden's and your leadership, I am optimistic that our bilateral partnership will reach new heights "Modi explained to Harris.
Modi later remarked in a tweet, "I'm glad I got to meet @VP@KamalaHarris. Her achievement has inspired people all across the world. We discussed a variety of topics that will help to strengthen the India-US partnership, which is built on shared values and cultural ties."
Both leaders spoke in front of a battery of pool reporters from India and the United States while wearing masks.
Modi invited Douglas Emhoff, a 56-year-old Democratic Party leader and Second Gentleman, to visit India.
"President Biden and you both took office at a time when our planet was facing significant problems. You've accomplished a lot in a short period, whether it's COVID-19, climate change, or the Quad "Modi stated the following.
The two leaders discussed views on recent global developments, notably in Afghanistan, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, and reiterated their commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The two presidents reviewed the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries, including continued efforts to limit the pandemic by hastened vaccination efforts and guaranteeing supply of key medicines, treatments, and healthcare equipment, it said.
"The US underscores the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific," Harris said, referring to China's aggressive activities in the strategically important region.
In the face of China's increasing military manoeuvring in the region, India, the United States, and a number of other world powers have discussed the importance of ensuring a free, open, and vibrant Indo-Pacific.
Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam all claim parts of the disputed South China Sea, while China claims practically all of it. In the South China Sea, Beijing has constructed artificial islands and military outposts.
Harris said, the world is more interconnected and interdependent than it has ever been. “And the issues we confront today have brought that fact to light. She remarked on the importance of our shared belief in the Indo-Pacific area, COVID-19, and the climate crisis.
“Both sides recognised the importance of working together to combat climate change. The Prime Minister discussed India's efforts to increase renewable energy and the National Hydrogen Mission, which was just started. He also emphasized the necessity of lifestyle adjustments in order to achieve environmental sustainability,” the statement said.
Modi stated that he spoke with Harris shortly after she assumed the Vice Presidency. "One of our exchanges took place when India was dealing with a particularly bad wave of COVID-19 infections. I recall your sincere words of support at the time," Modi said.
The second wave of the COVID 19 epidemic arrived in India. He described India's current situation as "very tough." “Like a family, you extended a helping hand so warmly, the words you selected when you spoke to me, I will always remember that, and I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” the prime minister said.
"Like a genuine friend, you sent a message of collaboration and sensitivity, and we discovered that the US government, the US corporate sector, and the Indian community all rallied together to help India shortly after," he said.
When India was combating a difficult wave of COVID-19 infections, Modi claimed the US government, enterprises located in the US, and the Indian diaspora were extremely supportive.
Both leaders recognised that strong people-to-people ties are the foundation of mutually beneficial education partnerships and the flow of knowledge, innovation, and talent between our two countries.
Four million people of Indian ancestry, according to Modi, serve as a bridge of brotherhood between the two countries.
India is a "very significant partner" for the United States, according to Harris, who applauded New Delhi's statement that vaccine exports will start soon. After the country was hit by the second wave of the epidemic in April of this year, India halted the shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.
India said on Monday that it will commence exporting surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 as part of the "Vaccine Maitri" initiative and to meet its COVAX global pool commitment.
On the issue of the climate problem, she informed Modi that the United States and India working together can have a tremendous influence not just on the people of nations, but also on the entire planet.
Harris said that it is the responsibility of the two countries to protect democracies in the best interests of their citizens. "As democracies around the world face threats, it is critical that we defend democratic principles and institutions both within our own countries and globally." And that we continue to do what we need to do at home to strengthen democracies, and that it is incumbent on our nations to safeguard democracies in the best interests of our people,” she said.
Their encounter takes place a day before Modi's first bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden and the Quad Leaders' Summit, which will take place at the White House on Friday.
They also discussed future areas of collaboration, such as space cooperation, information technology, particularly emerging and crucial technologies, and healthcare partnership.
“The contribution of Indian specialists, particularly in the IT sphere, biotechnology, space, and other fields that constitute the knowledge economy,” Shringla remarked..
There was an impression that India had skilled experts in the high-tech industry, including research and development capabilities, and that the United States, which is known for cutting-edge technologies and innovation, was an ideal partner,” he said.
The Vice President has "gracefully" accepted the Prime Minister's offer to visit India, according to Shringla. “A strong commitment to deepening bilateral ties!” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi sent out a tweet.
“Leadership-level engagement remains a critical component of our growing bilateral partnership with the United States!” he said.
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