Modi and Biden say common interests, strategic ties bind India and US
NEW DELHI, India - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Joe Biden on Thursday said their countries are linked in a strategic partnership based on shared interests.
The two leaders mentioned growing bilateral trade and close cooperation in areas such as defence, space, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and green energy to emphasise the strength of US-India relations.
During a joint press conference at the White House, the US president said "we are unlocking a shared future of what I believe to be unlimited potential."
Biden said their partnership "is among the most consequential in the world, that is stronger, closer, and more dynamic than any time in history."
Among global issues, they discussed the Russia-Ukraine conflict and power politics in the Indo-Pacific region.
"We also talked about our shared efforts to mitigate the humanitarian tragedies unleashed by Russia's brutal war in Ukraine and to defend the core principles of the U.N. Charter: sovereignty and territorial integrity," Biden said in his remarks.
"We discussed our work through the Quad and how India and the United States, together with Australia and Japan, can ensure the vital Indo-Pacific region remains free, open, prosperous, and secure," he said.
Biden also said the US is working with India on issues in the Middle East region.
"Through our new I2U2 grouping with Israel and the UAE, we're building regional connections to the Middle East and spurring science-based solutions and -- to the global challenges, like food security and clean energy," he said.
Biden mentioned the Ukraine conflict during his speech at the ceremonial welcome for Modi as well.
"Together, India and the United States are working closely on everything from ending poverty and expanding access to healthcare to addressing climate change to tackling food and energy insecurity stoked by Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine," he said.
Modi, at the press conference, said India was ready to play a role in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.
"From the very beginning of the events in Ukraine, India has laid emphasis on resolution of dispute through dialogue and diplomacy. We are completely ready to contribute in any way we can to restore peace," he said.
Biden and Modi were asked about human rights concerns and erosion of freedoms in India, to which they responded by reaffirming their commitment to "democratic values."
"Our government has taken the basic principles of democracy. And on that basis, our constitution is made and the entire country runs on that - our constitution and government," Modi said.
"We have always proved that democracy can deliver. And when I say deliver, this is regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender. There's absolutely no space for discrimination," he added.
A number of lawmakers in the US had raised the issue of growing religious intolerance and Islamophobia in India.
Congress members Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush, were among those who boycotted Modi's address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday. - BERNAMA