India-US ties have met their promise, become a reality: PM Modi
Updated Jun 23, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the third and final day of his visit to the US on Friday told US diplomats at the State Department that the "promise over the horizon", as Joe Biden as Vice President had described the bilateral relationship nine years ago, has become a "reality" today.
Modi was referring to his 2014 visit to the US, his first as the Prime Minister. Biden was the Vice President then, and had hosted a luncheon meeting for Modi at the State Department.
In the years since, the relationship has made a "lot of progress", Modi said, adding, "Whether it is on ground or in the skies, in the deep seas, or way up in space, India and America can be seen working together. Indeed, in the true sense, the promise over the horizon today is not merely a promise, but a reality, and neither is it far over the horizon."
The Prime Minister went on give the credit for it to "your dreams and your tireless hard work", and those in the room, which included America's top diplomats such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul and ranking member Gregory Meeks.
US Vice President Kamala Harris co-hosted the lunch for Prime Minister Modi with Secretary Blinken. Welcoming Modi, Harris spoke about spending time with her grandfather in Chennai -- it was then madras, she reminded the audience -- and learning from some principles that have stayed with her.
"Throughout those walks, I recall my grandfather teaching me lessons about not just what it means to have a democracy, but to keep a democracy. And I do believe it is these lessons that I learnt at a very young age that first inspired my interest in public service," Harris said.
On Thursday, Biden had said, "Equity under the law, freedom of expression, religious pluralism, and diversity of our people -- these core principles have endured and evolved, even as they have faced challenges throughout each of our nation's histories, and will fuel our strength, depth, and future."
Prime Minister Modi was asked about democracy and religious freedom at the White House news briefings, to which he said, "Democracy is in our DNA."
Welcoming the Prime Minister to the State Department, Blinken spoke about, among other things, the arc of the relationship in the last two-and-a-half years that he has headed the State Department.
"During the last two-and-a-half years, we've transformed the relationship between the two countries," he said.
"We are working closer together on more issues than ever before; from semiconductors to space, from education to food security. The energy, ambition, and potential of our cooperation is boundless. The United States and India have become, as the Prime Minister has put it, indispensable partners and that partnership, as President Biden said, is a defining relationship of the 21st century."