Washington: There has never been a more important moment for the India, US relationship than there is right now, a top American senator said on Wednesday, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America.

Modi on Saturday concluded his three-day visit to the US during which he addressed the 76th session of the United Nations Security Council, attended the first in-person Quad summit and held bilateral and multilateral engagements, including with US President Joe Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris and his counterparts from Australia Scott Morrison and from Japan Yoshihide Suga.

There has probably never been a more important moment for the relationship between India and the United States than there is right now,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, said at the 4th Leadership Summit of US, India Strategic and Partnership Forum.

“If we hold true to our common values, if we create opportunities for economic growth, and if we provide for our common defence, I believe the next generation can truly enjoy a world of prosperity, built on the strength of the two largest democracies on Earth. I promise I will do all I can to achieve that noble goal,” he said on the first day of the three-day virtual event.

“As we begin the third decade of the 21st century, as our two countries continue to fight against COVID-19 and as the world around us undergoes rapid transformation, India and the United States must continue working together to strengthen and maintain our partnership,” he said.

As Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Schumer said he will use his clout to make sure America and India stay close together, that they create new opportunities in this century to prosper together, and that Indian-Americans are given the full benefits of life in America free of discrimination.

“How can we accomplish this? Let me mention a few ways. First, we must continue cooperating to strengthen the economic ties that bind our two countries together,” he said.

This means Congress must find opportunities to invest in the industries, critical to both the countries from biotech and semiconductors and information technology, he said, adding these are good paying jobs that strengthen both economies.

“But we also must work to break new grounds on the technologies that will shape life in the 21st century. From AI to cybersecurity, from 5G to other telecom technologies, our rivals around the world are hard at work investing in these technologies, and they don''t always know the values of democracy and self-rule that the US and India do,” Schumer said.

“We need to beat them to the punch,” he asserted.

India and the US also need to work to strengthen their defence bonds, he said.

"At a time when the forces of authoritarianism are making inroads across the world, it is vital that India and the US, the two large prosperous growing democracies, keep working together to stand up and proudly defend the right of all people to freedom and to the two large prosperous growing democracies, keep working together to stand up and proudly defend the right of all people to freedom and to equality,” Schumer said.

For decades, the United States and India have supported one another in the shared battle against terrorism. India was there for the US and New York when they were attacked on 9/11, and America likewise stood by its Indian allies when they were struck by the tragedy in Mumbai.

“By working together, we were able to bring the people who caused these terrible attacks to justice. Today, we face new and different challenges in the Indo-Pacific challenges that implicate our two countries'' security and the future of the global economy,” he said.

“Our shared experience has taught us the vital importance of constant vigilance and international cooperation, and necessity continues today especially in Southeast Asia. I'm going to find ways for Congress to continue promoting our two countries'' mutual defence, including working with ASEAN and Quad members,” Schumer said.