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India waiting to welcome you, Modi tells Kamala Harris

New York, Sep 24 (IANS) Hailing US Vice President Kamala Harris’ barrier shattering rise to her country’s highest political office, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Harris a “source of inspiration for so many people across the world”, ahead of an India-US bilateral at the White House on Thursday. Find below the full transcript of Prime Minister Modi’s remarks before the meeting:

“Excellency, first of all, I’d like to express my gratitude for the warm welcome back you have extended to me and to my delegation.

Excellency, some months ago, we had an opportunity to talk to each other on the phone. We had a detailed discussion at that time. And the way you spoke to me so warmly and so naturally, I will always remember that. Thank you so much.

It was, Excellency, if you remember, a very difficult time. India was confronted with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic — a very difficult time for us. But so — like a family, the sense of kinship and so warmly you extended a helping hand, the words that you chose when you spoke to me — I will always remember that, and I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Like a true friend, Excellency, you had given a message of cooperation and very full of sensitivity. And immediately after that, we found that the US government, the US corporate sector, and the Indian community all came together to help India.

Excellency, President Biden and yourself, you took up the leadership of the United States in a very challenging atmosphere and challenging times, but within a very short period of time, you have had many achievements to your credit, whether that be Covid, climate, or the Quad. On all these issues, the US has taken very important initiatives.

Excellency, amongst the largest democracy and the oldest democracy, between India and the US, we are indeed natural partners. We have similar values, similar geopolitical interests, and, also, our coordination and cooperation is continuously increasing.

To strengthen the supply chains, Excellency, and as far as the new and emerging technologies are concerned, and space, these are areas of special interest for you. These are areas which are of interest to me too and a special priority. And these — and these are areas where our cooperation is very important.

Excellency, between India and the US, there are very vibrant and strong people-to-people connections that we have. You know that all too well. More than 4 million people of Indian origin, the Indian community is a bridge between our two countries — a bridge of friendship. And their contribution to the economies and societies of both our countries is indeed very praiseworthy.

Excellency, your being elected as the Vice President of the USA itself has been such an important and historic event. You are the source of inspiration for so many people across the world.

I am completely confident that under President Biden and your leadership, our bilateral relationship will touch new heights.

Excellency, continuing on your — this journey of victory, Indians also would want you to continue that in India and, therefore, they’re waiting to welcome you. And therefore, I extend to you specially an invitation to visit India.

Once again, Excellency, let me thank you and express my gratitude for this very warm welcome.”

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