On Monday, the United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after a massive but chaotic airlift that cost the lives of 13 U.S. troops and left behind thousands of Afghans and hundreds of Americans still seeking an escape from Taliban rule.
Celebratory gunfire resounded across Kabul on Tuesday as Taliban fighters took control of the airport before dawn, after the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops, marking the end of a 20-year war that left the Islamist militia stronger than it was in 2001. Shaky video footage distributed by the Taliban showed fighters entering the airport after the last U.S. troops flew out on a C-17 aircraft a minute before midnight, ending a hasty and humiliating exit for Washington and its NATO allies.
“It is a historic day and a historical moment,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference at the airport after the troops left. “We are proud of these moments, that we liberated our country from a great power.”
Modi Meets CEOs of Top American Companies, Encourages them to Invest in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held separate meetings with the heads of America’s top five companies in sectors ranging from 5G to semiconductors, drones and solar energy. During the meeting, he encouraged them to increase investment by mentioning the vast possibilities available in India.
After Modi met with Cristiano Amon, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Qualcomm, and Mark Widmer, CEO of First Solar, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) wrote on Twitter: “Talks on Technology… The conversation was fruitful”. According to the PMO, “Prime Minister Modi spoke about the vast opportunities available in India. Amon said he is looking forward to working with India on 5G and other Digital India initiatives.
The Indian Prime Minister first met Cristiano R Amon, President and CEO of tech giant Qualcomm Ventures, and discussed issues such as 5G, electronics and telecom manufacturing PLI schemes and measures to strengthen the innovation ecosystem.
PM Modi spoke about “making India a global innovation hub” during the meeting and informed Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. Cristiano R Amon, meanwhile, expressed keenness in working with India in areas such as 5G.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi next met Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and discussed the company’s ongoing activities in India. The two also held talks about ideas to leverage ‘Digital India’ flagship programme in sectors like health, education and R&D.
Next in the line to meet PM Modi was the CEO of power manufacturing company First Solar, Mark Widmar. The two talked about India’s renewable energy landscape. During the meeting, the Prime Minister elaborated on India’s efforts to harness solar energy, including the ‘One World, One sun and One grid’ initiative and investment opportunities in the sector.
Discussions also occurred about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thin-film technology by availing the recently launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme and integrating India into global supply chains.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi then met General Atomics CEO Vivek Lall and discussed advancing defence manufacturing and emerging technologies to increase India’s building capacity.
PM Modi spoke about India’s liberal drone policy and the opportunity in manufacturing due to the PLI scheme with Vivek Lall, who said that India was an attractive destination for the manufacturing of drones. He also said that a dedicated drone hub could be created in India to support the entire ecosystem of drones.
The last CEO PM Modi met on Thursday was Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, who briefed him about its ongoing projects in India and its interest in further investments in the infrastructure and real estate sectors.
With the Blackstone CEO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also talked about “various investment opportunities in India”, including those arising due to the National Infrastructure and National Monetisation Pipelines.
India, US natural partners with similar values, geopolitical interests: PM Modi tells VP Kamala Harris
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`.
Strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for entire planet: PM Modi after meeting Yoshihide Suga
Terming Japan as one of India’s most valued partners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he had an excellent meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga on a variety of subjects that would further boost cooperation between the two nations.
PM Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the US, said a strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for the entire planet.
“Japan is one of India’s most valued partners. I had an excellent meeting with PM Yoshihide Suga on a variety of subjects that would further boost cooperation between our nations. A strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for the entire planet,” PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga had a “fruitful” meeting in Washington wherein they discussed several issues including ways to give further impetus to trade and cultural ties.
“Furthering friendship with Japan. Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @sugawitter had a fruitful meeting in Washington DC. Both leaders held discussions on several issues including ways to give further impetus to trade and cultural ties,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.
This was also PM Modi’s first in-person meeting with Suga after the latter took over the reins from Shinzo Abe in September last year.
The bilateral meeting comes a day ahead of the first in-person summit of the Quad, quadrilateral cooperation between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
In April this year, PM Modi held a telephonic conversation with Suga and discussed cooperation in diverse areas including high technology, skill development and combating the COVID-19 pandemic together.
Besides PM Modi, Japanese PM Suga and Scott Morrison of Australia Prime Minister will also participate in the summit hosted by the US President on September 24.
The leaders will review progress made since their first virtual summit on March 12, 2021, and discuss regional issues of shared interests, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in a statement on September 14.
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