US President Joe Biden told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “You’re causing me a real problem”, as the two heads of state met on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, this week. But this was the kind of problem that brought a big smile to the faces of both the world leaders.
Talking to Modi yesterday, Biden referred to the fact that he was inundated by requests for invitations to attend a state dinner in Washington D.C. to be hosted for Modi, during the latter’s upcoming United States trip in June.
The two heads of state shared a warm hug at the G7 summit, before the Hiroshima meeting of Quad — short for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a group of four countries: the United States, Australia, India, and Japan. The hug has been interpreted by political observers as “setting the tone” for the Indian prime minister’s US visit.
Biden reportedly said to Modi, “You’re causing me a real problem. Next month, we have a dinner for you in Washington. Everyone in the whole country wants to come. I have run out of tickets.”
The smiling US president told the Indian prime minister, “You think I am kidding. Ask my team. I am getting phone calls from people I’ve never heard of before — everyone from movie actors to relatives. You are too popular.”
Modi said in Japan that India would be happy to host the next Quad meeting. The prime minister has left Japan today and gone on to Papua New Guinea, as part of his tri-nation tour, which will be concluded with a tour of Australia.