PM Modi lays groundwork for India-US partnership for next 25 years in virtual summit with President Biden

New Delhi, April 11 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid the groundwork for the India-US partnership over the next 25 years, as he agreed with US President Joe Biden that the bilateral partnership can contribute to solving a lot of global problems, with the Ukraine conflict finding mention in the opening remarks of both leaders. Significantly, President Biden in his remarks during the virtual meet said that the US and India “are going to continue their close consultations on how to manage in stabilising the effects of this Russian war” in Ukraine. The virtual meeting came ahead of the 2+2 talks, between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who were present at the White House during the interaction, along with their US counterparts, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Modi and Biden had an extensive exchange of views on several regional and global issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery, climate action, recent developments in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, and the situation in Ukraine. They also took stock of the significant progress made in bilateral relations in recent years. Both leaders agreed that further strengthening of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership would be of tremendous benefit to the two countries, and would also contribute to global peace, prosperity and stability, said an official statement. In his remarks, US President Biden said that as two vibrant democracies the two countries share the same concerns about the global challenges, including Covid 19, advancing health security, tracking the climate crisis. “We share a strong and growing defence partnership,” he remarked. “At the root of our partnership is the deep connection between our people, ties of family of friendship and our shared values,” Biden said and welcomed India’s humanitarian support to Ukraine. “I want to welcome India’s humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine,” Biden said, and referred to the “tragic shelling” on the Kramatorsk train station last week that killed dozens of people in Ukraine. Biden said the continued consultations and dialogue between the two sides “are key to ensuring the US-India relationship continues to grow deeper and stronger, delivering to our people and for global good that we are seeking to manage, particularly in your part of the world.”PM Modi said their deliberations would provide direction to the 2+2 discussions between their foreign and defence ministers.”When I was in Washington in September, you had said at the time that the India-US partnership can contribute to solving a lot of global problems. I totally agree with you; as two democracies that are the world’s largest and oldest, we are natural partners, and the progress that has taken place in our relations in the last few years, the new momentum that has been created, would have been hard to even imagine a few decades ago,” PM Modi said. He referred to the Ukraine situation and the evacuation of 20,000 Indians from the war-hit nation. Outlining India’s efforts at furthering peace, he said: “During this entire process I spoke several times on the phone to the presidents of both Ukraine and Russia, I not only appealed for peace but also suggested that there be direct between President Putin and the President of Ukraine.” He said the Indian parliament had held extensive discussions on Ukraine. He referred to the killings in Bucha in Ukraine, and said India had instantly condemned the killings and has called for an independent enquiry. Modi hoped that the ongoing discussions between Russia and Ukraine will lead to peace. “On our part we have sent medicines and other relief material to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. And on Ukraine’s request we will be sending them another consignment of medicines very soon,” he added. He referred to a slogan of President Biden that “democracies can deliver” and said that the “success of the India-America partnership is the best means to make this slogan meaningful.” Modi also said that while India is celebrating 75 years of its independence the two countries are also marking the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. “I am confident that our friendship with America will be an integral part of India’s development journey over the next 25 years.” RN

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