PM Modi’s state visit great opportunity to review deep India-US ties

Washington:┬áPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s first state visit to the US at the invitation of President Joe Biden offers a great opportunity for the two leaders to review growing bilateral trade, investment and defence partnership and discuss new areas of cooperation, a senior State Department official has said.

Modi will embark on his state visit to the US next month on an invitation by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The US president and the First Lady will also host Modi at a state dinner on June 22.

“We are really excited to host Prime Minister Modi in June here in Washington. This is going to be a great opportunity for our two leaders to underscore the deep ties between our two countries and between our peoples,” said Nancy Izzo Jackson, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for India at the Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs.

“They will review our growing trade, investment and defence partnership. We also expect that they are going to discuss new areas of cooperation as we work together to face global challenges like health, climate change, clean energy technology and food security,” she said in response to a question.

“Underpinning all of these issues, however, is our shared investment in our people-to-people ties, whether that is promoting educational exchanges or investing in our workforce development. Certainly, visas are a part of that conversation,” Jackson said.

She asserted that this was one of the most consequential global relationships.

“Our bilateral partnership cuts across our most crucial global strategic priorities – defence, economic and trade security, health, emerging technology and the ever-growing people-to-people ties,” Jackson said.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre while announcing the visit on May 10, said the upcoming visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the US and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit will strengthen the two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific, she said, amid China’s aggressive behaviour in the strategic region.

The visit will also elevate the bilateral strategic technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy, and space, she said.

Modi’s visit to the US comes ahead of the G20 Summit being hosted by India in September.

After becoming Prime Minister in 2014, Modi has made more than half a dozen trips to the United States for bilateral and multilateral meetings with all three American presidents, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Biden, but this is for the first time he has been invited for an official State Visit, a privilege accorded to America’s close friends and allies.

His last visit to Washington was in September 2021 at the invitation of President Biden for a bilateral meeting. He had also attended the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit hosted by Biden.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi met President Biden on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia in November last year. The two leaders also met on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Germany in June 2022 and before that in May on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders Summit in Tokyo.