Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described US Vice President Kamala Harris as a “source of inspiration” for many people around the world and expressed confidence that bilateral relations will touch new heights under President Joe Biden and her leadership.
Modi made these comments during a joint press appearance with Harris at the White House on Friday ahead of their bilateral meeting.
“You are being elected as the Vice President of America has been such an important and historic event. You are the source of inspiration for so many people around the world,” Modi said.
Harris, 56, is the first-ever person of Indian origin to be elected as the vice-president of the United States.
Harris is the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to be elected Vice President, as was the case with other offices she has held, her biography on the White House website says.
“I am so confident that under President Joe Biden and your leadership, our bilateral relationship will touch new heights,” the prime minister said.
Modi also extended an invitation to Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit India.
“Continuing on your journey of victory, Indians would also want you to continue that in India and wait for you to come to India and therefore, I extend to you an invitation to visit India,” he said.
Recalling his conversation with Harris in June during the second wave of the pandemic in India, Modi said, “A few months ago, we had an opportunity to talk to each other over the phone. We had a detailed discussion at that time and the way you spoke to me so warmly and naturally, I will always remember that.”
“It was a very difficult time. India was confronted with the second wave of the pandemic but like a family, the sense of kinship and so warmly you extended a helping hand.
“The words that you chose when you spoke to me, I will always remember that and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
“Like a true friend, you had given a message of cooperation and full of sensitivity and immediately we found that the US government, corporate sector and the Indian community all came together to help India,” he said.
Harris was born to two immigrant parents — a Black father and an Indian mother. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica, and her mother Shyamala Gopalan was a cancer researcher and civil rights activist from Chennai.