Indian PM Narendra Modi leaves for US to 'enrich' bilateral ties

After four days in America, Mr Modi will head to Egypt for a two-day visit

President Joe Biden with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021. AP
Powered by automated translation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is embarking on a four-day visit to the US to “enrich the depth and diversity” of the bilateral partnership.

Mr Modi is making his first state visit at the invitation of President Joe Biden and first lady, Jill Biden, though he has visited six times since becoming India's premier in 2014.

"President Biden and I have had the opportunity to meet several times since my last official visit to the US in September 2021," he said before making the journey. "This visit will be an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership.

“I am confident that my visit to the US will reinforce our ties based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom. Together we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges.”

Mr Modi and Mr Biden met last month in Japan for a G7 meeting.

New Delhi and Washington DC share strong strategic, defence and diplomatic relations and the Indian Prime Minister said his visit would deepen their co-operation.

“India-US ties are multifaceted, with deepening engagements across sectors," he said. "The US is India’s largest trade partner in goods and services. We collaborate closely in science and technology, education, health, defence and security fields."

He will arrive in New York where he will lead the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday.

New Delhi sent a proposal to the UN in 2015 to recognise the ancient form of physical, mental and spiritual practice, which stems from Indian culture, to raise awareness of its benefits across the world.

The Indian Prime Minister will also meet prominent personalities and leaders in the city.

In Washington DC, he will receive a ceremonial welcome at the White House before meetings with Mr Biden and between Indian and US officials.

Mr Modi said the meetings would "provide an opportunity to consolidate our bilateral co-operation as well as in plurilateral forums such as G20, Quad and Ipef”.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is an informal strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China’s rise in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (Ipef) is an initiative unveiled by President Biden to push new trade agreements with ally countries in the region to counterweight China’s economic influence in the region.

Mr Modi will address the US Congress on Thursday and later attend a state dinner hosted by Mr Biden and the first lady.

“The US Congress has always provided strong bi-partisan support to India-US ties," Mr Modi added. "During my visit, I will address a Joint Session of the US Congress at the invitation of Congressional leadership."

He will also be hosted by Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State.

Mr Modi is scheduled to have meetings with select business leaders and professionals.

Mr Modi will also meet members of the Indian diaspora — more than four million people of Indian origin or Indian citizens live in the US — at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre in Washington DC on Friday.

He will leave for Egypt the following day for a two-day visit — his first to the African nation and the first official visit by an Indian Prime Minister since 1997.

Mr Modi will hold talks with the "India Unit" of Egyptian ministers, which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi constituted after his visit to New Delhi in January.

Mr Modi will also interact with the Indian community and meet prominent personalities. He will also pay a visit to the 11-century Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo.

Updated: June 20, 2023, 8:32 AM