Modi leaves for US visit, to start with Yoga Day at UN headquarters in New York City

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his state visit to the United States of America would be “an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity” of the Indo-US partnership. He asserted that together, the two countries would stand stronger in meeting shared global challenges.

Indian diaspora in the United States of America eagerly await the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a state visit, at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. Photo: PTI

Modi, who left for the US today, said in a departure statement released through the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that his state visit would start with a celebration of yoga. In the statement, Modi said: “I am travelling to the United States of America on a State Visit at the invitation of President Joseph Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden. This special invitation is a reflection of the vigour and vitality of the partnership between our democracies.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for the United States. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia

“I will commence my visit in New York [City], where I will celebrate the International Day of Yoga on June 21 at the United Nations Headquarters, with the UN leadership and members of the international community. I look forward to this special celebration at the very location that supported India’s proposal in December 2014 to recognise an International Day of Yoga.”

Modi will then travel to Washington DC. His statement said: “President Biden and I have had the opportunity to meet several times since my last Official Visit to the USA in September 2021. This visit will be an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership.”

Also read: Indian-Americans march to welcome PM Modi ahead of official visit

The US was India’s largest trade partner in goods and services, and the two countries would work closely in the fields of science and technology, education, health, defence and security, Modi said. The initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies had added new dimensions and widened collaboration in defence industrial co-operation, space, telecom, quantum, Artificial Intelligence and biotech sectors, he added. “Our two countries are also collaborating to further our shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said the PMO statement.

In the departure statement, Modi said that his discussions with President Biden and other senior US leaders would provide an opportunity to consolidate bilateral co-operation and collaboration at plurilateral forums such as G20, Quad and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity).

Incidentally, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi gave each other a warm hug at the G7 summit in May, held in Hiroshima, Japan. Modi was at the G7 summit as the guest of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida; he also attended the Quad summit — Australia, India, Japan, and the United States — at the same venue. Biden had said then that he was flooded by requests for invites to events featuring Modi during his US state visit.

In a tweet, Modi said that in the US, he would also get the opportunity to meet business leaders, interact with the Indian community and meet thought leaders from different walks of life. “We seek to deepen India-USA ties in key sectors like trade, commerce, innovation, technology and other such areas,” he said.

The Indian prime minister will join the US president and his wife for the state banquet along with a number of dignitaries. Noting that the US Congress had always provided strong bipartisan support to India-US ties, Modi said that during his visit, he would address a joint session of the US Congress at the invitation of the Congressional leadership.

“Strong people-to-people linkages have been instrumental in developing the trust between our countries. I look forward to meeting the vibrant Indian-American community that represents the best of our societies,” said Modi.

“I will also meet some of the leading CEOs to discuss opportunities for elevating our trade and investment relationship and for building resilient global supply chains,” he said.

He expressed confidence that his visit to the US would reinforce ties between the two countries based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom. “Together, we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges,” Modi said in his statement.

Modi to visit Egypt after United States

After his US state visit, Prime Minister Modi will head to Egypt, also on a state visit. “I will travel to Cairo from Washington DC at the invitation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. I am excited to pay a State Visit to a close and friendly country for the first time,” he said.

“We had the pleasure of receiving President Sisi as the Chief Guest at our Republic Day celebrations this year. These two visits in the span of a few months is a reflection of our rapidly evolving partnership with Egypt, which was elevated to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ during President Sisi’s visit.”

Modi added, “I will also have the opportunity to interact with the vibrant Indian diaspora in Egypt.”

— With inputs from PTI