Modi embarks on US visit tomorrow

Modi embarks on US visit tomorrowNEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a five-day high profile visit from tomorrow to the US during which he will have a power-packed schedule of meetings – official, business and public –

apart from addressing the UN General Assembly on September 26 and bilateral talks with President Barack Obama.

Expecting a “substantive” outcome, India said, “We see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to New York and Washington as a signal of India’s abiding commitment to multilateralism and of a desire to build on a growing convergences in Indo-US ties in the areas where we can work together and in areas where we can do more for each other.”

Modi would also be holding three bilateral meetings with neighbors –

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. There are no plans to meet Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

The Indian side has also indicated Modi’s “dietary preferences” given that the Prime Minister would be observing the nine-day Navratri fast during his trip.

Modi will hold talks with over 15 top American corporate honchos, including top executives of Google, Boeing and General Electric, as India looks to attract more overseas investments.

Apart from meeting 11 top corporate honchos over breakfast on September 29, the Prime Minister will have one- on-one meetings with six more business captains same day in New York. The series of engagements – estimated to be over 50 – in a little over 100 hours from the time Air India One touches down at the John F Kennedy international airport in New York on September 26 till the wheels are up at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington on September 30 evening – are all aimed at achieving Modi’s goal of a resurgent India.

In his interactions with top American CEOs, a majority of whom are said to be from Fortune 500, the Prime Minister would be rolling out his policy of “red carpet and not red tape” to invite them to come, invest and make in India.

In his interaction with leaders like American business magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Modi would be listening to his experience of smart cities.

In his address to nearly 20,000 Indian-Americans and in his subsequent meetings with the Indian Diaspora, Modi is expected to seek their “partnership” in a resurgent India, which occupies its due place in the international community.

Modi would also be meeting top American political leadership ranging from former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Indian-American South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Modi will be hosted for tea by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Joe Boehner and more than 50 lawmakers during his stay either in New York or Washington.

In Washington, there is a very high level of expectation from Modi’s meeting with President Obama.

Obama has gone out of his way to host a rare private dinner for Modi at the White House on September 29, so as to establish a personal relationship with the Indian leader.

Ahead of his main summit at the White House on September 30, Modi would visit the Martin Luther King Memorial and Lincoln Memorial in Washington and pay floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in front of the Indian Embassy.

This would be for the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would have so many public and private engagements during a US visit. -PTI


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