Biden welcomes PM Modi with White House pomp

Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked his state visit Thursday by launching new partnerships in defense, semiconductor manufacturing and more sectors as the leaders look to strengthen their countries’ crucial — albeit complicated — relationship.

President Joe Biden listens as PM Modi speaks

Thousands gathered on the White House South Lawn for the formal welcoming ceremony, listening to performances by violinist Vibha Janakiraman and the a cappella group Penn Masala. As Modi arrived, the crowd — including many sari and shalwar kameez-clad members of the Indian diaspora — broke out in a chant of “Modi! Modi Modi.”

PM Modi and President Joe Biden during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House

“I’ve long believed the relationship between the United States and India… will be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century,” Biden said with Modi by his side. “Since I’ve become president, we’ve continued to build a relationship built on mutual trust, candor and respect.”

PM Modi stands with President Joe Biden as they watch the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House

In his own remarks at the welcoming ceremony, Modi called the Indian diaspora in America — the millions of immigrants and their children from the subcontinent living in the U.S. — “the real strength” of the U.S.-India relationship. He added the honor of a formal state visit — the first in the U.S. for India since Barack Obama honored Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, in 2009—reflected the positive impact Indians are having around the globe.

PM Modi greets Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House

“I have come here many times but today for the first time, the doors of the White House have been opened for the Indian American community in such large numbers,” Modi said to an estimated crowd of 7,000.

 

Thousands of India-Americans accorded a rousing welcome to PM Modi at the White House

Modi’s busy itinerary on Thursday also includes an address to Congress and a lavish White House state dinner hosted by Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

Images courtesy of AP and Twitter/ @MEAIndia

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