Barack Obama photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India

June 07, 2016

President Obama. Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome back my friend Prime Minister Modi and the Indian delegation to the Oval Office.

I still have fond memories of being honored by the Prime Minister's invitation to participate in Republic Day celebrations in India and the incredible hospitality and warmth that was shown by the people of India during our visit.

As the world's two largest democracies and countries with strong bonds between our peoples, our businesses, our scientific and educational communities, it's natural that the United States and India have deepened and broadened our partnership across a whole range of issues.

In Paris, the joining of forces between India and the United States helped to forge a historic agreement that can effectively deal with climate change. And we discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris Agreement into force, how we can make sure that the climate financing that's necessary for India to be able to embark on the bold vision for solar energy and clean energy that Prime Minister Modi has laid out can be accomplished. And the agreements and memoranda that we reached, I think, reflect the seriousness with which both of us take the climate change issue.

We discussed, in addition, the progress that we've made around civil nuclear energy. And I indicated our support for India becoming part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the abilities for technologies that are critical to India's development and prosperity being available. And we also discussed in that same context our important work together around the nonproliferation of nuclear materials and technologies that could end up falling into the wrong hands. And I very much appreciated the Prime Minister's very effective interventions and participation in our Nuclear Security Summit.

Of course, a key priority for both of us is how to promote economic prosperity and opportunity and poverty alleviation for our people. And we continued to discuss a wide range of areas where we can cooperate more effectively in order to promote jobs, to promote investment, to promote trade, and to promote greater opportunities for our people—particularly young people—in both of our countries.

And—I'm sorry.

[At this point, the interpreter continued her translation of President Obama's remarks into Hindi.]

And we discussed both towards the end of our meeting, as well as—and intend to discuss during our lunch meeting important regional and security issues, because India and the United States have a shared vision of peace, of democracy, of countries resolving conflicts diplomatically rather than through war. And when we work together on the international stage, we can make significant progress not only on traditional security challenges, but also new security challenges like cybersecurity that are going to be increasingly important in the 21st century.

So again, I want to thank my friend Prime Minister Modi for his leadership. I know that whenever he visits, it is a source of great pride and excitement not only for the people of India, but the remarkable Indian American community here in the United States that are a symbol and a testament of the deep bonds of friendship and family that exist between our two countries.

Prime Minister Modi. I, too, would like to thank my very close friend, President Obama, for this meeting today. We are meeting once again. And I'm also grateful to the Congress of the United States for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to address them tomorrow.

We've had a discussion on a range of issues, and I think it's not just the diplomatic strength of these discussions, but also the friendliness, the strength that comes out of that that is very important.

Of course, India and the United States have been working together, and we will continue to do so. But what we have seen over the last 2 years is that India and the United States have been cooperating on issues that are of global concern. And we've been working shoulder to shoulder to achieve results that are of benefit to the entire world. Whether we're talking about nuclear security, global warming, the concerns of terrorism, the Paris Agreement—the initiative that was taken there—we have been working shoulder to shoulder. And I feel proud that we are not just two friends and two countries that are working together, we are proud of the leadership role that we have taken on, and we will continue to do so.

Today we've had a discussion, as I said, on a range of issues. We've spoken about taking our economic relationship to new heights. We've talked about technical support. We have spoken about the energy sector, about funding—financing for clean energy. We've spoken about cybersecurity and the fact that India also leads a role as far as the Internet is concerned. So these are all a range of issues that we've had very good discussions on.

India is a young country. We have a population of 800 million who are below 35 years of age. And in fact, the United States is well aware of the talent that India has. We and the United States can work together to bring forward this talent and use it for the benefit of mankind, to use it for the benefit of innovations, and to use it to achieve new progress and touch new heights. We will continue to do so in future too.

India has made a name for itself as the fastest growing economy in the world. And India and the United States also are the world's biggest democracies. Both countries need to widen their cooperation, the scope of their cooperation, and find new areas to cooperate in that would assist in finding solutions for the world—for also for the developing nations of the world. We will meet again at the G-20 summit. And by that time, I expect that we would have moved forward on several issues. Climate justice is also an issue that we will be taking up.

And we also have the MTCR; we have the Nuclear Suppliers Group. And the help and support that my friend President Obama has extended is something that I will always cherish and remember. Once again, I'd like to thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:01 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. Prime Minister Modi referred to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Prime Minister Modi spoke in Hindi, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Barack Obama, Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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