Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Joe Biden engaged in a bilateral meeting at the Oval Office in the White House on Friday. This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after Biden became the US President in January.
During the bilateral meeting, PM Modi thanked Biden for the warm welcome accorded to him and his delegation. "I thank you for the warm welcome accorded to me & my delegation. Earlier, we had an opportunity to hold discussions, & at that time you had laid out the vision for India-US bilateral relations. Today, you are taking initiatives to implement your vision for India-US relations," he said.
PM Modi said Biden's leadership will certainly play an important role in how this decade is shaped. "Today’s bilateral summit is important. We are meeting at the start of the third decade of this century. Your leadership will certainly play an important role in how this decade is shaped. The seeds have been sown for an even stronger friendship between India and USA," he said.
PM Modi further said trade holds importance between the two countries. "Trade holds importance on its own b/w India & the US. In this decade, we can be complementary to each other. There are many things with the US, that are needed by India and many things with India that can be useful for the US. Trade will be a major sector in this decade," he said.
He also lauded Biden's efforts on COVID-19 and mitigating climate change. "President Joe Biden mentioned Gandhi ji's Jayanti. Gandhi ji spoke about Trusteeship, a concept which is very important for our planet in the times to come," PM Modi said. "Each of the subjects mentioned by President Biden are crucial for the India-USA friendship. His efforts on COVID-19, mitigating climate change and the Quad are noteworthy," he added.
The US President, meanwhile, said under PM Modi's leadership the seeds have been sown for India-US relations to expand. "I've long believed that US-India relationship can help us solve a lot of global challenges. In fact, back in 2006, I had said that by 2020 India & the US will be among the closest nations in the world," Biden added.
Ahead of the meeting, Biden had said he was looking forward to strengthening the deep ties between the two countries.
"This morning I'm hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House for a bilateral meeting. I look forward to strengthening the deep ties between our two nations, working to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, and tackling everything from COVID-19 to climate change," Biden had said in a tweet.
The bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister and the US President will be followed by the first in-person Quad leaders' summit.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with United States Vice President Kamala Harris and Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan.