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US VP Kamala Harris Dials PM Modi; Underlines India-US Cooperation Over COVID Vaccines

US Vice President Kamala Harris had a telephonic conversation with PM Narendra Modi on Thursday. The call was initiated by the American side, govt sources said.


US Vice President Kamala Harris had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. The call was initiated by the American side, top government sources told ANI.

During the call, Harris stressed the US administration’s efforts to “achieve broad global coverage, responding to virus surges and other urgent situations ad public health needs and helping as many countries as possible who requested COVID-19 vaccines,” according to Senior White House Advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders.

PM Modi ‘deeply appreciated’ the assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the US Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing and also thanked her for all the support from the US government, businesses and the Indian diaspora. PM said they discussed ongoing efforts to further strengthen India-US vaccine cooperation, and the potential of partnership to contribute to post-COVID global health and economic recovery.

The Joe Biden administration has unveiled a plan to share COVID-19 vaccines with the world and its intent to direct 75% of excess doses through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program. The US is expected to greatly contribute to India’s needs under this initiative.

EAM Jaishankar visits US

Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar- the first Indian Cabinet minister to visit the US under the Biden administration - had said that the COVID-19 pandemic and supply of vaccines were the most important aspects of his discussions with top officials. Jaishankar had met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, US Trade Representatives Katherine Tai and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during his two-day visit.

Apart from PM Modi, Harris also dialled President Andres Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

“The Vice President notified each of the leaders that the Biden-Harris Administration will begin sharing the first 25 million doses of COVID vaccines to their respective countries and others, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccines globally by the end of June," the White House said in a statement.

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