WASHINGTON: Stating that India and the United States were walking ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in every area, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told President Joe Biden that the partnership between the two countries is more important than ever in the changing global order.
PM Modi, who is on his maiden state visit to the US, received a rousing welcome at the White House from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
Speaking at the Oval Office, with President Biden seated opposite him, PM Modi said, “I express my gratitude for the grand welcome and for opening the doors of the White House for people from the Indian diaspora. They are in huge numbers here to witness the future course of India-US relations.”
“You have always been a well-wisher of India and have given strength to the importance of the India-US partnership,” he added.
PM Modi added that today, India and US are walking shoulder-to-shoulder in every area ranging from ocean, space, ancient culture and artificial intelligence
“I recall, you highlighted a crucial point, eight years ago during the India US Business Council, saying, ‘Our Goal is to become India’s best friend’. This personal commitment of yours towards India helps us in taking many bold and ambitious steps. Today, India and US are walking shoulder to shoulder in every area — be it the depths of the ocean to space, from ancient culture to artificial intelligence,” PM Modi said.
Stating that the real strength of the India-US partnership was in the people-to-people ties, Prime Minister Modi said further this partnership is important more than ever “in the rapidly changing global order”.
“Whenever a relationship between two countries is viewed from a diplomatic point of view, it is usually centred around the joint statement, working groups and MoUs. But the main engine of India-US relationship is our strong people-to-people relationship, whose roar we all heard outside the White House,” PM Modi said.
He added, “In this rapidly changing global situation of India, all eyes are on the world’s two largest democracies — India and the US. I believe that our partnership is very important, more than ever, for the welfare of humankind and global peace and stability, and for all countries believing in democratic values. I am confident that we will definitely succeed in enhancing our global potential.”
Prime Minister Modi added that he was hopeful of a positive outcome from the bilateral talks.
“Today, we will hold talks on many such issues and connect our strategic partnership with new dimensions. I once again express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your friendship,” PM Modi added.
PM Modi is scheduled to address the joint session of the US Congress later in the day, around 12.15 IST, making him only the second world leader after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the joint session of the US Congress twice.
Upon his arrival at the White House lawns, PM Modi, dressed in a traditional white kurta pyjama paired with a powder blue jacket, was greeted by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
National anthems of India and the US played out as thousands of people gathered on the White House South Lawns to greet PM Modi.
Huge crowds of people gathered at the South Lawns of the White House to welcome PM Modi. Visuals showed them waving Indian flags and chanting “Modi, Modi” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Some visitors to the South Lawns were seen holding up a banner that read, “Indian American Diaspora welcomes Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi”. (ANI)