All eyes on Modi-Obama meeting at the White House

RSTV Bureau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with American President Barack Obama. Photo-PTI

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with American President Barack Obama.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to meet President Obama at the White House on Tuesday evening (local time).

PM Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with President Obama and review bilateral ties between the two nations. The meeting will be followed by a lunch hosted by President Obama for PM Modi.

“When it comes to bilateral ties, it is the present that usually counts but heritage can be a great binding force too,” tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs quoting the Prime Minister.

“In my meeting with the President on June 7, we will seek to build upon the progress achieved in providing new vigour and momentum to our strategic partnership in diverse areas,” PM Modi had said before departing for the five-nation tour.

Since 2014, there have been six meetings between President Obama and PM Modi.

The visit “reflects the significance that the two leaders place on the natural alliance between the two largest democratic countries of the world”, a senior US official said.

The US has already backed India’s bid for a membership to the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.

“So, I think the bottom line for us is that we believe that through engagement with India and through engagement with groups like the NSG, we are in a better position to support India as a good citizen on these issues going forward,” Rhodes said.

Later in the day, PM Modi will meet business leaders and address the US-India Business Council. At the council, the Prime Minister is likely to highlight the measures taken by his government to ensure ease of doing business. In doing this, he is likely to urge US to invest more in India.

On Wednesday, PM Modi will address a joint meeting of the US Congress which will be followed by a lunch to be hosted by the Speaker. PM Modi will be the fifth Indian Prime Minister to do so.

After landing in Washington, earlier today, PM Modi paid paying tributes at the Arlington National Cemetery and met heads of a number of American think tanks.

He laid a wreath at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers and paid homage to Indian-American astronaut late Kalpana Chawla at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Honouring sacrifice, saluting valour. Formal engagements begin with a solemn ceremony,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

From the US, PM Modi will head to Mexico where he will again make a strong pitch for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. A number of key bilateral issues will feature in his talks with Mexican President.

(With inputs from agencies)