PM Modi invites US President Biden to visit India


WASHINGTON: During his first in-person meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden appreciated the decision of the Government of India to resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines from October, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

Biden hosted PM Modi at the Oval Office in the White House for the first in-person bilateral meeting.

Addressing a special press briefing on PM Modi’s second day of engagements in the US, Shringla said the discussions were wide-ranging including discussions on vaccines.

“It was the meeting which was characterised warmth, cordiality. It is both productive and timely. The leaders on a broad plain acknowledged that the comprehensive global strategic partnership between the two countries was firmly anchored in a shared commitment to democratic values and common strategic interests,” he said.

“The discussions were wide-ranging but what was very evident was that the importance both leaders placed on dealing and combating with Covid crisis. Both leaders were able to brief each other on their experiences. The Prime Minister expressed solidarity shown by the US when we had second wave of crisis. President Biden appreciated India as a country that has extended assistance to countries across the world,” he added.

Speaking further, Shringla said: “There were discussions on vaccines. President Biden appreciated the decision of the Government of India to resume exports of vaccines from October. He said that the US announced a significant increase in their own efforts to distribute vaccines. This also come up in Quad. Indian vaccines which were of quality and affordable would also be scaled up significantly to make a difference in terms of the availability of vaccines and in dealing with vaccine inequity in the developing world. I think there is a great appreciation there on those factors.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris earlier welcomed New Delhi’s announcement that it will soon be able to resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines. PM Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the US, held a first in-person meeting with Harris on Thursday.

Early this year, India halted vaccine exports as coronavirus cases surged in the country.Recently, the Indian government announced that the country will resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines in the October quarter, prioritising the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX and neighbouring countries first as supplies rise.