Modi-Biden bilateral talks: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden held bilateral talks in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday. Both the leaders were likely to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual and global interests, aimed at further boosting the Indo-US strategic relations in areas like defence, space, clean energy and critical technologies.
When Modi met Biden, he said that the real engine of the India-US relationship is the people-to-people relation. “You have always been a great well-wisher of India,” Modi told Biden as they meet at the Oval Office in Washington.
Modi met Biden one-on-one in the Oval Office of the White House before holding delegation-level talks. This is the second interaction between the two leaders within 24 hours. President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted Prime Minister Modi for an intimate dinner at the White House a day earlier during which they discussed a range of issues, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India.
PM Modi grand ceremonial welcome at White House
Prime Minister Modi received a grand ceremonial welcome at the White House including a 21-gun salute and playing of the national anthems of both countries. US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed the Prime Minister following which the President addressed the gathering.
In his remarks at the welcome ceremony, Modi said he will soon hold talks with President and discuss regional and global issues. “I am sure our talks will be positive.” Modi said India and US are committed to working together for global good and peace, stability and prosperity.
President Biden described the relationship between the US and India as one of the most defining relationships in the 21st century.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff were also present at the welcome ceremony. Several thousand Indian-Americans, who have converged in the American capital from far and near, attended the welcome ceremony on the South Lawns. Indian Americans were chanting ‘USA USA’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Modi Modi.’
Modi and Biden are scheduled to address a news conference
Modi and Biden are scheduled to address a news conference together from the East Room of the White House after their talks. They are likely to take questions from journalists. Normally each side takes two questions, but sometimes it can be one from each side. During the last Indian State visit of former prime minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009, the two sides took one question each.
The prime minister would then head to the Congress to deliver an address to the joint meeting of the US Congress, which would be attended by Congressmen and senators in the presence of several hundred Indian Americans from the visitor’s gallery.
Biden and First Lady to host State Dinner
In the evening, President Biden and the First Lady will host a State Dinner at the South Lawn of the White House, which is expected to be attended by 400 guests. Preparations for the visit have been going on for more than six months now and a lot of efforts have gone to ensure that the deliverables are historical in nature. The major areas include space, education, defence, technology, climate change and health.
“This visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together,” the White House said on Wednesday. “The visit will strengthen our two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific and shared resolve to elevate the technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy, and space,” it said.
According to the White House, the two leaders will discuss ways to further expand educational exchanges and people-to-people ties, as well as work together to confront common challenges from climate change to workforce development and health security.
Modi arrived in Washington from New York where he led a historic event at the UN headquarters earlier in the day to commemorate the 9th International Day of Yoga, attended by UN officials, diplomats and prominent personalities. He is visiting the US from June 21-24 at the invitation of President Joe Biden and the First Lady.
(With agencies input)