US invites Modi to address Joint Congress on June 8

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday. PTI Photo

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday. PTI Photo

The White House is in talks with Indian officials on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the US, a presidential spokesman said in Washington after House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the Congress on June 8.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, however, did not indicate if a final decision has been taken in this regard or if the formal invitation to PM Modi by President Barack Obama has been sent.

We’re still engaged in those discussions. Obviously the President has a strong working relationship with Prime Minister Modi,” Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

Ernest also said that President Barak Obama appreciates the important role played by Prime Minister Modi in the Paris Climate Change summit.

“President Obama has complemented the important role that Prime Minister Modi played in Paris in ensuring the successful completion of the Paris climate talks. The President had a long meeting with Prime Minister Modi in the context of that international meeting,” he said.

San Jose : Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during a reception by the Indian community at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on September 27, 2015. Photo - PTI

San Jose : Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during a reception by the Indian community at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on September 27, 2015.
Photo – PTI

PM Narendra Modi participated in the Nuclear Security Summit that was convened in Washington just last month, he noted.

“And of course, President Obama at the beginning of last year had an opportunity to be the guest of honour at India’s Republic Day celebration. That obviously was a memorable visit for the President and he was the first President to be so honoured,” Earnest said.

“They obviously have a strong working relationship and, you know, we’re in conversations with them about scheduling a visit,” the presidential spokesman said.

PM Modi, who was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit when he was here for the nuclear summit, will be the fifth prime minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress