New Delhi, September 24
As democracies around the world are under threat, “it is imperative that we defend democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries,” US Vice President Kamala Harris has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their 15-minute meeting at the White House on Thursday.
“And that we maintain what we must do to strengthen democracies at home and it is incumbent on our nations to of course protect democracies in the best interests of people of our countries,” she said in her remarks as she welcomed Modi to her ceremonial office.
Both leaders had warm words on cooperation during the pandemic. Modi thanked Harris for offering a “sense of kinship” in a phone call during India’s deadly second wave in April-May. Harris reciprocated by calling India a vital source of vaccines for other countries early in the pandemic and welcomed India’s announcement to soon resume vaccine exports.
Harris, whose mother was born in India, is the first US Vice President of Indian descent. She is also the first woman and first black person to hold the office.
Modi invited Harris to visit India, telling her that Indians “are waiting to welcome you” and calling her “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 reach new heights,” he said.