Prime Minister Narendra Modi, currently on a three-day state visit to the United States, received a warm welcome at the White House today, where he engaged in bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden.
At the bilateral meeting with PM Modi, Biden says, "Thank you Prime Minister for your decision to host the G20 this year...I look forward to discussing how we can strengthen our partnership."
The Prime Minister was greeted with a grand ceremony, including a 19-gun salute and the playing of national anthems, held at the south lawns of the White House. President Biden expressed the importance of collaboration between India and the US, stating, "Given the situation of the world, it is essential that India and the US work together."
Inside the Oval Office with President Biden, PM Modi said, "I express my gratitude for the grand welcome and for opening the doors of the White House for people from the Indian diaspora. They are in huge numbers here to witness the future course of India-US relations."
He added that India and US are walking together in several sectors like ocean, space and artificial intelligence and said, "You have always been a well-wisher of India and have given strength to the importance of the India-US partnership," he added.
"I recall, you highlighted a crucial point, eight years ago during the India US Business Council, saying, 'Our Goal is to become India's best friend'. This personal commitment of yours towards India helps us in taking many bold and ambitious steps. Today, India and US are walking shoulder to shoulder in every area -- be it the depths of the ocean to space, from ancient culture to artificial intelligence."Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Modi's Grand White House Welcome
Speaking outside the White House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "30 years ago I came to the US as an ordinary citizen and saw the White House from outside."
"After becoming the PM, I have visited the White House many times. This is the first time the gates of the White House have been opened for the Indian-American community in such large numbers," he added.
On the lawns of the White House, Biden said, “The relationship between the US and India is one of most defining relationships in the 21st century."
"PM Modi welcome back to the White House. I am honoured to be the first to host you here on a State visit," Biden added.
Another component of Modi's visit is his address to a joint sitting of the US Congress, at the invitation of Congressional leaders, which will be followed by a Congressional reception, before Modi is whisked away to the official State dinner hosted by the president and first lady.
A Day of Big Deals
Throughout the day, significant announcements were made, ranging from defense cooperation to space exploration, aiming to deepen the ties between the two nations. Notably, adjustments to visa rules and the opening of an additional consulate were agreed upon.
General Electric's aerospace division has formed a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to manufacture fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force in India.
This transfer of advanced technology is unprecedented, potentially revolutionizing the Indian airspace. Furthermore, in support of the "Make in India" initiative, Prime Minister Modi has invited prominent American chip maker Micron Technology to establish an assembly plant in Gujarat, with a total investment of $2.75 billion.
India and the US are expected to announce changes in the processing of H-1B visas, benefiting a percentage of workers who will be able to renew their visas in the US without returning to India.
Additionally, a new Indian consulate will be established in Seattle, covering the region of Alaska. Moreover, India has committed to joining the Artemis Accords, a US-led initiative aiming to send humans back to the moon by 2025, with the long-term objective of expanding space exploration to Mars and beyond.