Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday embarked on a week-long visit to the US and expressed confidence that his visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader, and also help impart new energy to bilateral ties with the US.
Ahead of his flight, PM Modi tweeted that his upcoming US visit will include various high-level programmes that would further cement the ties between New Delhi and Washington.
Modi said he looks forward to meeting US President Donald Trump in Houston as well as in New York, in a span of a few days.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to address Indian-Americans at the “Howdy, Modi!” event on September 22 in Texas’ Houston. He will be joined by President Donald Trump.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “It (Modi-Trump joint rally) will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.”
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “delighted that US President Donald Trump will join him at the community programme in Houston”.
This would also be the first time that an American president would be addressing thousands of Indian-Americans at one place in the US.
In Houston, PM Modi is expected to interact with CEOs of leading energy companies in the US with the aim to enhance India-US energy partnership.
After the Houston event, Trump will again hold talks with PM Modi in New York on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
Both sides will review bilateral relations “in order to bring even more benefits to our two nations and peoples. The US is a vital partner for our national development, with rich possibilities of partnership in education, skills, research, technology and innovation, and an enabler for India in economic growth and national security. Shared values, convergent interests and complementary strengths provide the foundation for natural partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies. Working together, we can contribute to building a more peaceful, stable, secure, sustainable and prosperous world,” said Modi in a statement.
This year’s UN General Assembly session, which is the 74th, has the theme “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.
“There are many pressing challenges for the international community – a still fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world, growth and spread of terrorism, climate change and the endemic global challenge of poverty. They require stronger global commitment and concerted multilateral action. I will reiterate our commitment to reformed multilateralism, which is responsive, effective and inclusive, and in which India plays her due role,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi is slated to hold around 20 bilateral meetings during his New York visit, including with President Trump. During his UNGA speech he will focus on India’s role towards development and peace and security, with no mention of Article 370 which is an “internal issue”, the Ministry of External Affairs had said on Thursday.
Modi said through his participation in UN events, “he will showcase India’s success in realising the Sustainable Development Goals. At the Climate Action Summit on September 23, he will highlight India’s robust action to address climate change in line with global goals and our international commitments”.
India will also host at the UN an event to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi that will see the participation of several heads of state and government along with the UN Secretary General to “pay our collective tribute to Gandhiji and underscore the significance of his message”.
On his bilateral meetings, the Prime Minister said: “I will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders from other countries and UN entities on the margins of the UNGA. For the first time, India will hold leadership-level interactions with the leaders of the Pacific Island States, and leaders of the CARICOM group on the margins of UNGA. This will take forward our vibrant South-South cooperation and partnership with them.”
He said the New York leg of the visit will also cover important elements of bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan are scheduled to speak at the UNGA. With Khan declaring his resolve to highlight Kashmir in his speech, India is gearing up to rebut him point by point.