Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pointed out that India and United States have similar values and geopolitical interests, and called the two countries “natural partners”. PM Modi also asserted that coordination and cooperation between both nations were also increasing.
The prime minister’s statement comes in a joint press conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris ahead of the delegation-level talks.
“India and America being the largest and oldest democracy are natural partners. We have similar values, geopolitical interests, and our coordination and cooperation is also increasing. Strengthening supply chain, new emerging technologies, and space, are areas of special interest to you. For me, these areas are of priority. In these areas, our cooperation is important,” he said.
“India and the US have very vibrant and strong people-to-people connections. More than 4 million people of Indian origin, the Indian community is a bridge between two countries, a bridge of two countries and their contribution to economies and societies of both our countries are indeed praiseworthy,” the Prime Minister added.
It may be noted that this was the prime minister’s first in-person meeting with VP Kamala Harris after she made history by becoming the first Indian-origin person to hld the top post in US.
PM Narendra Modi is currently on a three-day visit to the United States. During his visit to the US, PM Modi also expressed his gratitude to the US for extending help when the country was hit by the second wave of COVID-19 earlier this year.
“I extend my gratitude for the warm welcome that you have extended to me and my delegation. Some months ago, we had the opportunity to talk to each other over the phone. We had a detailed discussion at that time. The way you spoke to me so warmly and naturally. I will always remember that,” he said.
“It was a very difficult time when India was hit by the second wave of COVID-19. The way you expressed concern and extended a helping hand, I express my gratitude to you. I will like to thank you,” he added.
PM Modi also praised US for its cooperation. The Prime Minister said, “Like a true friend, you had given a message of cooperation and it was full of sensitivity. Immediately after that, we found that the US government, US corporate sector and Indian community all came together to help India.”
The Prime Minister`s meeting with VP Harris came a day ahead of his highly anticipated bilateral meet with US President Joe Biden.
PM Modi praised Harris as a “source of inspiration” and said her election as Vice President of the USA has been an important and historic event.”
Your election as Vice President of the USA has been an important and historic event. You are a source of inspiration for many across the world. I am confident that under President Biden and your leadership our bilateral relations will touch new heights,” he said.
“You and President Biden took up the leadership of the United States in a challenging atmosphere in challenging times. But within a very short period of time, you have had many achievements to your credit whether it is COVID-19, climate or the Quad. The US has taken a very important initiative in all these issues,” the Prime Minister said. PM Modi also extended an invitation to Harris to visit India.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Washington on Wednesday for his much-touted US visit. He had earlier addressed the Global COVID-19 Summit called by US President Joe Biden.
Biden is scheduled to host PM Modi at the White House today (September 24, 2021). This is going to be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after Biden took over as the US President on January 20. Biden will host the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders` Summit, which will be joined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
PM Modi`s US visit will conclude on September 25 with an address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues.
This is Prime Minister Modi`s first visit abroad beyond the neighbourhood since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. PM Modi is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and senior officials.
The high-level session of the UNGA began on Tuesday in New York. The theme for this year`s General Debate is `Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations`.
Bomb Blast in Mosque During Friday Prayers, at least 50 Killed
There has been a massive explosion in a Shia mosque in Kunduz city of Afghanistan. According to local media, many people had gathered in the mosque due to Friday prayers. According to local media, at least 50 people have died in the incident, while hundreds are injured. The bodies of the dead are reaching the hospitals one after the other.
Local security officials say more than 100 people have been killed or injured in the attack. An officer said that when the mosque was attacked, around 300 Shias had gathered for Friday prayers.
Taliban spokesman and Information and Culture Minister Zabiullah Mujahid also stated the incident. He said that there was a blast targeting Shia civilians this afternoon in the Khanabad Bandar area of Kanduj. Many people have died in this. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack. But it is believed that IS-Khorasan terrorists may be behind this attack.
PM Modi Brings Back 157 Stolen Indian Artefacts Returned By US Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought back 157 artefacts and antiquities from America. These are artefacts and antiquities, which were abroad years ago due to theft, illegal trade or smuggling. The United States of America has handed over 157 artefacts and antiquities during the visit of Prime Minister Modi. The list of 157 artefacts includes a diverse set of objects ranging from a one-and-a-half meter bas relief panel in Revanta in sandstone from the 10th century to a 9.5 cm tall bronze Nataraja from the 12th century.
In addition, 157 artefacts and antiquities include many historical objects from the 11th century to the 14th century, including anthropomorphic copper objects from 2000 BC or terracotta vases from the 2nd century. Of this, about 45 antiquities belong to the pre-Common Era. Nearly half of the artefacts being brought are cultural, the other half are sculptures, 60 related to Hinduism, 60 to Buddhism and 9 to Jainism.
The bronze collection mainly consists of ornate sculptures of famous postures of Lakshmi Narayan, Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva Parvati and 24 Jain Tirthankaras. The less common ones are Kankala Murti, Brahmi and Nandikesha, among other unnamed deities and divine figures. Motifs include religious sculptures from Hinduists, Buddhism and Jainism. Apart from these, secular motifs are also introduced. Fifty-six terracotta pieces (2nd-century vase, 12th-century pair of deer and 18th-century sword with inscriptions mentioning Guru Hargobind Singh in Persian.
The Modi government is actively trying to bring back India’s antiquities and artefacts stolen and forcibly taken away by the colonialists over the years. The effort of the Government of India is to restore the lost cultural heritage of the country, recover the stolen artefacts. Between 2014 and 2021, more than 200 antiquities have either been returned or are in the process of being returned.
According to a report presented in Parliament, 41 artefacts from abroad have been brought back home after the Modi government came to the Center in 2014, before this PM visit. This is more than 75 per cent of the total items returned so far.
Only 13 such antiquities were returned between 1976 and 2013. Since 1976, 54 antiquities have been brought back, out of which 41 items have been brought home under the leadership of PM Modi. From 1976, the Congress government ruled for about 25 years, but during this time, less than ten antiquities were brought back to India. That is, in the last seven years, the Modi government has brought back more than four decades of ancient Indian treasures before it.
Not only this, the Government of India is constantly engaged in bringing back the heritage of the country from abroad. Stolen antiquities are being retrieved from the US, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Canada and England, where around 119 antiquities are in various stages of the recovery process.
US President Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
US President Joe Biden received his COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at the White House on Monday afternoon (local time).
Biden got a third Pfizer dose after booster doses were approved by federal health officials. “We know that to beat this pandemic and to save lives, to keep our children safe, our schools open, our economy going, we need to get folks vaccinated,” Biden said during remarks ahead of his shot. “So, please, please do the right thing. Please get these shots. It can save your life and it can save the lives of those around you,” he said.
Biden received his first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January. Biden joked about how he is “way over” the age of 65, which is part of the reason he is eligible for the shot.
He said he didn’t have any side effects after getting his first or second COVID-19 vaccine shots.
“If you fall under these categories, you’re eligible for the booster. Now, I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am over 65 — I wish I — way over. And that’s why I’m getting my booster shot today,” the White House said in a statement.
“Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” Biden said.
“The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Over 77 per cent of adults have gotten at least one shot. About 23 per cent haven’t gotten any shots, and that — that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of us an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country,” he said.”This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can,” he added.
The US Food and Drug Administration last week gave emergency use authorisation for a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.
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