Biden tweets on ‘most consequential’ US-India friendship, Modi replies

The US-India relationship is among the “most consequential” in the world with bilateral ties more dynamic than ever, United States President Joe Biden has said after the two countries elevated their strategic technology partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic state visit.

Prime Minister Modi on Friday concluded his maiden state visit to the US during which he held wide-ranging talks with President Biden. Modi also addressed the joint session of the US Congress, becoming the first Indian leader to do so twice.

The visit included an impressive welcome ceremony attended by a record 7,000 people on the South Lawns of the White House, a state dinner attended by some 500 people, and a round table with honchos of technology companies, entrepreneurs, officials and CEOs.

“The friendship between the United States and India is among the most consequential in the world. And it’s stronger, closer, and more dynamic than ever,” US President Biden tweeted on Sunday.

Responding to Biden’s remarks, Modi said the friendship between India and the US is a force for global good and will make the planet better as well as more sustainable.

Tagging Biden’s tweet, Modi said on Twitter, “I fully agree with you, @POTUS @JoeBiden! Friendship between our countries is a force of global good. It will make a planet better and more sustainable.”

“The ground covered in my recent visit will strengthen our bond even more,” he said.

The White House, in its weekly email update, said Modi’s state visit affirmed the deep and close partnership between the US and India, strengthened their shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific, and shared resolve to elevate their strategic technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy and space.

“The leaders discussed ways to further expand the United States and India’s educational exchanges, people-to-people ties, as well as our work together to confront common challenges from climate change, to workforce development and health security,” it said.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit saw India and the US signing several major deals to boost cooperation in key areas such as defence, space and trade.

General Electric Aerospace has announced that it has inked a pact with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to jointly produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk-II Tejas. Modi and Biden hailed the “landmark” pact to jointly produce jet engines in India to power military aircraft and the US drone deal.

India announced its intention to procure armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones from General Atomics. This advanced technology will increase India’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.

India also decided to join the Artemis Accords, which advance a common vision of space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.

“By taking the decision to join the Artemis Accords, we have taken a big leap forward in our space cooperation. In fact, in short, for India and America partnership, even the sky is not the limit,” Prime Minister Modi told reporters at a news conference at the White House with President Biden.

In another big-ticket announcement, computer storage chip maker Micron said it will set up its semiconductor assembly and test plant in Gujarat entailing a total investment of USD 2.75 billion (around Rs 22,540 crore).

Internet giant Google also announced that it will invest USD 10 billion in India’s digitisation fund.

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