PM Modi to return home after ‘landmark’ US visit, lists ‘strongest assets’

PM Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly, attended the first in-person Quad summit meeting and held bilateral and multilateral engagements, including with Biden, Kamala Harris and his Australian and Japanese counterparts. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he emplanes for India after concluding his US visit, (ANI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he emplanes for India after concluding his US visit, (ANI Photo)
Published on Sep 26, 2021 06:25 AM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday concluded his three-day packed visit to the US, during which he said he had “productive bilateral and multilateral engagements” and expressed confidence that the relationship between India and the US will grow even stronger. “Over the last few days, have had productive bilateral and multilateral engagements, interaction with CEOs and the UN address. I am confident the India-USA relationship will grow even stronger in the years to come. Our rich people-to-people linkages are among our strongest assets,” PM Modi tweeted ahead of his return from the United States.

PM Modi addressed the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, attended the first in-person Quad summit meeting and held bilateral and multilateral engagements, including with US President Joe Biden, US vice president Kamala Harris and his Australian and Japanese counterparts—Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga—respectively. The spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi said the Prime Minister’s US visit was “landmark".

During his first visit to the US since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi started his engagements on Thursday by meeting five top American corporate leaders from key sectors ranging from drones to 5G, semiconductor, and solar and encouraged them to step up their investments by highlighting the vast opportunities in India. Two of them were Indian Americans—Shantanu Narayen from Adobe and Vivek Lall from General Atomics. He also met Cristiano E Amon from Qualcomm, Mark Widmar from First Solar, and Stephen A Schwarzman from Blackstone.

Watch PM Modi's full speech at UN General Assembly: Terrorism, China, climate, Covid highlights

Prime Minister Modi held his first in-person meeting with US vice president Kamala Harris at the White House on Thursday, a day ahead of his highly anticipated bilateral meet with US President Joe Biden. Modi praised Harris as a "source of inspiration" and extended an invitation to her to visit India. This was PM Modi's first in-person meeting with Harris after she made history by becoming the first Indian-origin person to become the vice president of America. Harris called upon Pakistan to act against terrorist groups operating from its soil to ensure they do not threaten the security of both the United States and India and underscored the need to closely monitor Islamabad’s support for terrorism.

On Friday, Prime Minister Modi received a warm welcome from Biden at the White House as they held their first bilateral meeting. The two leaders discussed a wide range of priority issues, including combating the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, economic cooperation and ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Biden said that the relationship between the two countries is “destined to be stronger, closer and tighter”, as PM Modi rolled out a 10-year road map for growing ties based on four Ts of talent, technology, trade, and trusteeship. Biden even recounted a story he has told many times before that of people in India with the same surname as his. Modi said that since Biden last told him about it, he got some research done into it and has brought along some genealogy documents for the president.

Later that day, PM Modi attended a meeting of the leaders of the United States, Japan and Australia for the Quad Summit and pledged to work together for ensuring peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and the world. President Biden said the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from Covid-19 to climate. He also said that the group has democratic partners who share world views and have a common vision for the future.

On Saturday, PM Modi addressed the UNGA session and cautioned about countries with “regressive thinking” that are using terrorism as a “political tool”. He called for efforts to ensure no country takes advantage of the “delicate situation” in Afghanistan for “its own selfish interests”. He did not name any county, but he was clearly pointing to Pakistan. He underscored the strength of India’s democracy as he talked about his own rise from a tea seller at a railway station to that as prime minister.

PM Modi will bring home 157 artefacts and antiquities, which were handed over to India by the US during his visit. The Prime Minister and US President Biden expressed their commitment to strengthening efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects. According to an official statement on Saturday, nearly half of the artefacts are cultural, and the rest are figurines related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism—including the one-and-a-half metre bas relief panel of Revanta in sandstone of the 10th CE to the 8.5 cm tall, exquisite bronze Nataraja from the 12th CE.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021