India and the US are working with renewed trust in areas of new and emerging technologies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday as he thanked the American leadership for giving him a grand welcome.
Speaking at a luncheon hosted in his honour by US Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, Modi said the two countries have added and expanded the scope of the cooperation in the defence and strategic areas.
"We are working with renewed trust in areas of new and emerging technologies. We are resolving long pending and difficult issues in trade," he said, adding that with new frameworks like QUAD and I2U2, the two countries are making major progress together.
Modi said that in 2014 during his visit to the US, President Joe Biden had referred to the India-America partnership as a promise over the horizon. "In this period of nine years since then, we have been on a very long and beautiful journey," he added.
"We are together in these new frameworks, such as Quad and I2U2 (India, Israel, the UAE, and the United States), and we have made a lot of progress in these. Whether it is on the ground or in the skies, in the deep seas or way up in space, India and America can be seen working together," the prime minister said.
"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," Prime Minister Modi said.
He lauded Indian-origin Vice President Harris and her parents, saying, ”Your contribution to strengthening our strategic partnership has been incredible.”
He said Harris's achievements are an inspiration to not only the women in America but to women in India and women all across the world.
"Thank you so much for this grand welcome. The sweet melody of the India-US relationship is composed of our people-to-people relations," Modi said at the event, also co-hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the department of state.
Modi said in the last three days, he has taken part in several meetings and discussed numerous topics.
"In all of these meetings, there was one thing that was common: In all of these meetings, everyone was of the view that the friendship and cooperation between the people of India and America need to become even deeper," he said.
On her part, Harris said she and President Biden are grateful for Prime Minister Modi's commitment to strengthen US-India ties.
"As I look around this room, I am struck by the extraordinary impact that the Indian Americans have had on our country in every facet of life," Harris said as she cited the example of the historic number of members of the United States Congress with Indian heritage.
"As we look toward the future, the US and India instinctively turn to each other and are increasingly aligned," she added.
Harris said over the past two and a half years she along with Prime Minister Modi advanced cooperation on climate change on clean energy, terrorism, cybercrime, public health and vaccine production.
"And during this trip, our countries have launched new areas of cooperation from artificial intelligence to semiconductors. As we look toward the future, the United States and India, the world's oldest and largest democracies, instinctively turn to each other and are increasingly aligned," Harris said.
India's global engagement has not only been to the benefit of the people of India but also the benefit of the people of the United States and people around the world, she said.
"Thank you for your role of leadership to help India emerge as a global power in the 21st century. You have helped to reinvigorate the Quad. Your leadership of the G20 is making new strides in climate finance. And you have been a proponent of international institutions and global solutions to global challenges," she said.
Harris also mentioned her mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer scientist who hailed from Chennai, during her address. She also spoke about her deep connection to India and her grandfather.
"So, as many of you know, India is a very important part of my life. When my sister Maya and I were growing up, our mother would take us from the Bay Area to India pretty much every other year," the Vice President said.
"And the purpose of those trips were many, including that we would well understand where she came from, what produced her; so that we could spend time with our grandparents, with my uncle and our chithis (aunts); and to really understand the love of good idli," she said.
She recalled how her grandfather used to teach her lessons about not just what it means to have a democracy but to keep a democracy.
"In fact, it is a large part of who I am today -- these lessons I learned from my grandfather, P V Gopalan, and from the dedication, determination, and courage of his daughter, my mother, Shyamala. And it is that being the reason that I stand before you today as vice president of the United States," she said.
The history and teachings in India and of India have not only influenced me, they, of course, have shaped the entire globe, she added.
Secretary of State Blinken said that the US and India have become indispensable partners. "In the US, India is part of our daily lives. We laugh at the comedies of Mindy Kaling and dance to the beats of Diljit (Dosanjh) at Coachella," he said.
"Whether we call it the American dream or we call it the Indian dream, whether it's the son of an immigrant from Jalandhar rising through the state department... our people believe profoundly in that opportunity," he added.
Prime Minister Modi is currently in Washington on a state visit at the invitation of President Joe Biden. The two leaders held a historic summit on Thursday. Biden also held a state dinner for him on Thursday.