New Delhi: In their first formal meeting and also punctuated with Tête-à-tête, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to strike a personal rapport and said Ms Harris's election to such a top post is a "source of inspiration for many across the world."
"Your election as Vice President of 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," PM Narendra Modi told Kamala Harris at the joint media conference.
Modi also invited Kamala Harris to visit India. The US Vice President said India is a very important partner to the US and maintained its incumbent on our nations to 'protect democracy'.
"As democracies around the world are under threat, it's imperative that we depend on democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries and around world. It's incumbent on our nations to protect democracy in the best interest of people," she said.
An MEA statement said both leaders exchanged views on recent global developments, including Afghanistan, and reaffirmed their commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
Mr Modi said, "I express my gratitude to the US for extending a helping hand to India when India was hit by the second wave of COVID-19."
"This is their first in-person meeting," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet, also sharing photographs of both the leaders discussing things before the delegation-level parleys.
Prime Minister Modi will hold much awaited bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden on Friday (September 24).
In their missive, MEA spokesperson wrote: "Strong commitment to further deepen bilateral relations."
Both the leaders at the delegation-level discussions exchanged views on "recent global and regional developments."
"When India experienced the surge of COVID in the country, the United States was proud to support India in its need and its responsibility to vaccinate its people," Ms Kamala Harris said.
It is worth mentioning that the name Kamala in Sanskrit means lotus. Paradoxically, the lotus is also the electoral symbol of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP. Kamala Harris is the daughter of cancer biologist Shyamala Gopalan, who migrated from the southern city of Chennai. Her father is a Jamaican migrant.
Indeed, during the Modi regime, India-US relations with all dispensations in Washington, under Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden, have improved.
"I welcome India's announcement that it will soon be able to resume vaccine exports. It is a particular note and admiration that India is currently vaccinating approximately 10 million people a day as of today, I know that India takes the issue of climate crisis seriously. We believe that the US and India working together can not only have a profound impact not only on the people of our nations but the world," the US Vice-President said.
The MEA statement said: "Both sides acknowledged the importance of collaborative action on climate change."
The Prime Minister spoke about India's push for increasing renewable energy and the recently launched National Hydrogen Mission. They also discussed areas of future collaboration, including space cooperation, Information Technology, especially emerging and critical technologies. Both leaders acknowledged the vibrant people-to-people linkages as the bedrock of the mutually beneficial education linkages and the flow of knowledge, innovation, and talent between our two countries. Prime Minister Modi invited Vice-President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit India soon, the MEA said.