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April 13, 2023
Prime Minister Modi has described the U.S and India as “natural partners” after attending the first in-person meeting at the White House with Kamala Harris. Both decided to further build the existing Indo-US strategic partnership, as well as discussing issues of common concern such as Afghanistan and threats to democracy.
In a joint media appearance with VP Harris, Modi said that “India and America are natural partners. We have similar values, similar geopolitical interests.” Kamala Harris is the first person of Indian origin to be elected to the office of the vice presidency. Modi also noted that India and the U.S.A are the world two largest democracies, with Harris telling reporters that “As democracies around the world are under threat, its imperative that we depend on democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries and around the world. Its incumbent on our nations to protect democracy in best interest of people of countries.”
The two leaders also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in India and the United States, with Harris saying that she “welcomed India’s announcement that it will soon be able to resume vaccine exports. It is particularly noteworthy and admirable that India, I’m told is currently vaccinating approximately 10 million people a day as of today.”
According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, other topics discussed also include “emerging and critical technologies, healthcare, education and P2P linkages.” On the issue of security, Harris told reporters that “As related to the Indo-Pacific, the U.S stresses on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” a message that is especially critical giving China’s growing aggression in the region.
On terrorism, Harris took aim at the role of Pakistan and said that there were terrorist groups operating within the country, asking Pakistan to take action so that such groups would have an impact on the security of the U.S.A and India. Climate change was also brought up, with both sides acknowledging “the importance of collaborative action on climate change”, with Modi speaking about “India’s push for increasing renewable energy and the recently launched National Hydrogen Mission.”
Modi also noted that as India was struggling to confront the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said “Like a family, the sense of kinship and so warmly, you extended a helping hand.” Telling Harris that the “words that you chose when you spoke to me, I will always remember that, and I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
It’s also understood that Prime Minister Modi has invited VP Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit India, with Indian Foreign Minister Shringla confirming that Harris “graciously” accepted the offer.
ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDIANA EXPRESS