Noting that democracies around the world are under threat, US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday said it is imperative that India and the US defend democratic principles and institutions within their respective countries and around the world.
Harris made the remarks during her joint statement with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"As democracies around the world are under threat, it is imperative that we defend democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries and around the world and that we maintain what we must do to strengthen democracies at home. And it is incumbent on our nations, of course, to protect democracies in the best interest of the people of our countries," she said.
PM Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the US, held a first in-person meeting with the Indian origin US Vice President.
"India is a very important partner to the US. We had COVID-19, the kind of crisis and importance of our shared belief in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. On COVID-19, our nations have worked together. Early in the pandemic, India was a vital source of vaccines for other countries," Harris said.
She recalled the US' assistance to India during the surge of COVID-19 in the country. "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," she added.
Harris welcomed New Delhi's announcement that it will soon be able to resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines.
She also lauded India's COVID-19 vaccination drive."I welcome India's announcement that it will soon be able to resume vaccine exports. It is particular note and admiration that India is currently vaccinating approximately 10 million people a day as of today," Harris said.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that discussions between the two leaders were "substantive and they lasted over an hour".
"The meeting reflected warmth and cordiality. Discussions covered a number of areas which included COVID-19, climate change, the issue of terrorism, cooperation in the technology sector including cooperation in cyber security, space etc," Shringla said.