India, US look to deepen ties, discuss Indo-Pacific

India, US look to deepen ties, discuss free Indo-Pacific vision

The two sides had not been able to narrow down differences and clinch a deal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday. Credit: PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Friday discussed ways to uphold the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific and deal with the challenges of climate change and Covid-19 in their first meeting after the change of guard in the White House.

“I look forward to strengthening the deep ties between our two nations, working to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, and tackling everything from Covid-19 to climate change,” Biden tweeted, just before his meeting with the Prime Minister in Washington DC.

Enhancing trade ties also figured in their talks.

“There is much to be done in trade. Trade will be an important factor in India-US ties in the coming decade,” Modi said.

Though the Modi government had a long-running negotiation with Donald Trump’s administration to work out a trade deal, the two sides had not been able to narrow down differences and clinch a deal.

Also read: Modi-Harris meet: US again subtly nudges India to protect democratic principles

The Biden administration over the past few months did not show much interest in restarting negotiations on a trade deal, but indicated its willingness to work with the Modi government to address concerns of the two nations, particularly regarding access to each other’s markets.

“Technology is becoming a driving force. We have to utilise our talents to leverage technology for greater global good,” the Prime Minister said, adding that this decade will be shaped by talent and people-to-people linkages.

Biden said that he had long believed that US-India relationship could help solve a lot of global challenges. 

Earlier, Vice President Kamala Harris subtly nudged India to protect democratic principles during her meeting with Modi, who called India and the US "natural partners" due to their similar values and geopolitical interests.

The two sides also discussed the threats posed by terrorist groups based in Pakistan.  

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