COP21
US President Barack Obama (R) talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting at the UN conference on climate changeGetty

US president Barack Obama and the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, held bilateral talks ahead of the UN conference of climate change involving 150 world leaders. Obama and Modi said their meeting would concentrate on climate change, as well as other issues such as terrorism and development.

Read the comments by Obama and Modi ahead of their bilateral meeting in full below:


Obama: "It's a pleasure to meet with my friend and partner, Prime Minister Modi of India. During my visit to India earlier this year, we committed ourselves to a new, deeper partnership between our nations. And our work here in Paris together represents one of the greatest areas for deeper cooperation -- and that's on the issue of climate change.

"We agree that it's an urgent threat. The Prime Minister has shown in the work even before he was Prime Minister, at the state level, his interest in new technologies and clean energy. We welcome India's leadership and Prime Minister Modi's leadership on this issue. And Paris is a chance to put in place a lasting framework to address climate at an international level.

"I want to emphasise that we agree that Paris must recognise and protect the ability of countries like India to pursue the priorities of development, growth, and poverty eradication. And I know that that is something that is deeply felt by Prime Minister Modi. At the same time, it also has to reflect serious and ambitious action by all nations to curb their carbon pollution. So our teams are working together to achieve these objectives.

"And I am proud that after our meeting here we're going to be attending what we're calling Mission Innovation, which is a groundbreaking new public-private initiative that will accelerate the pace at which we can develop and deploy clean energy that's affordable to populations around the world.

"And India has also developed a new Solar Alliance, which is going to be, I think, helping to advance the cause not only in India but around the world of accelerating the adaptation of solar energy, which is going to be so important to our clean energy future.

"So, Mr. Prime Minister, it's wonderful to see you again, and thank you for your leadership."

Modi: "Thank you."

Modi [As interpreted]: "My friend, President Obama, we are launching ourselves together on a very good mission, and we are working together. With President Obama, I have such a deep relationship that we are able to discuss very openly on all issues and also set out our projects.

"This initiative about innovation in which India, too, would be present, we are going to be with the United States and work shoulder to shoulder with them in this new initiative. And I'm sure in the times to come this is going to give very good results.

COP21: What you need to know about the Paris climate change conferenceIBTimes UK

"Secondly, the other very good outcome would be that 121 countries, which are very solar-rich and who receive the maximum solar radiation in their countries, are getting together and a new organization - the International Solar Alliance - is coming into being. In that, the US Secretary of State, Mr Kerry, would be present and also the French president.

"And so this Solar Alliance and the Mission Innovation, I think these are two very important instruments to fulfil the dreams that we have set ourselves in Paris, and to fulfil these in the times to come.

"India is a very nature-loving country and we are setting out, as always, to protect nature in the world. And as you know, Mahatma Gandhi was the biggest champion of nature. And we are going to be making a very important contribution. Our INDCs are also very ambitious. We have set out 175 gigawatt of solar and renewable energy. These are very ambitious targets.

"And I would just like to once again reiterate that the responsibility that India has will be fully undertaken and fulfilled by it. And we will be working with all countries in the world to ensure that development and protection of the environment go hand in hand. And we also expect full cooperation from all countries.

"Once again, I'd like to express my gratitude to President Obama. We meet very often. We're very good friends. We talk very openly. And I'd just like to thank him [In Hindi] - about the strong message: Paris to protect planet. Thank you."

Obama: "There you go. I understood that one. [Laughter] Thank you, everybody."