US, India ties can help solve global challenges: Biden

US President Joe Biden on Friday said that ties between the US and India can help in solving “a lot of global challenges”.

In his opening remarks as he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks, Biden recalled that in 2006, when he was US Vice-President, he had said that India and the US will be among the closest nations in the world in 2020.

“I have long believed that the US-India relationship can help us solve a lot of global challenges. In fact, back in 2006 when I was the vice-president, I said that by 2020 India and the US will be among the closest nations in the world,” Biden said.

Modi, in his remarks said that technology is becoming a driving force. “We have to utilise our talents to leverage technology for the greater global good,” he said.

He also thanked Biden for the warm welcome accorded to him and his delegation at the White House.

“I thank you for the warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation. Earlier, we had an opportunity to hold discussions and 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,” Modi said while interacting with Biden.

The delegation-level talks between Modi and Biden began at the White House on Friday. This is the first meeting between the two leaders since Biden assumed office as US President in January this year.

Moments before his meeting with PM Modi, Biden said he is 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 said in a tweet.

Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership between the two countries is anchored in “mutual trust, shared interests, goodwill and robust engagement of their citizens” and covers a wide gamut of areas including trade and defence.

The two countries also have strategic convergence on Indo-Pacific. The meeting is taking place in the backdrop of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the issue is likely to figure in the discussions.

Since January, PM Modi and Biden have participated in three summits. Two of them were hosted by President Biden — the Quad virtual summit in March and the Climate Change Summit in April which was also held virtually.

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