Indian PM Modi Set for Fourth US Visit in Two Years

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) with US President Barack Obama at the White House

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Washington, DC – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to town once again. The White House press secretary confirmed that US President Barack Obama will meet with him on June 7 to discuss “progress made on our climate change and clean energy partnership, security and defense cooperation, and economic growth priorities.”

The press secretary didn’t mention any specific agenda for PM Modi’s fourth visit in two years, but said, “The visit will highlight the deepening of the US-India relationship in key areas since the President’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015.”

It may be mentioned that since Obama’s visit to India in January 2015, Modi has visited the US on two occasions: September 24-30, 2015 and March 31- April 1, 2016. Modi’s first visit after becoming Prime Minister was on September 26-30, 2014.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said, “The main objective of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister would be to consolidate the progress made in diverse areas such as economy, energy, environment, defense and security, and to intensify cooperation for the future.”

The statement further said that the Indian Premier was also invited by Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to address a Joint Session of the US Congress.

Modi will be the fifth Prime Minister of India to address a Joint Session of Congress on June 8. Earlier Indian Prime Ministers who addressed Joint Sessions of the US Congress are Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P. V. Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985).

In a communique, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) announced Modi will address its 41st Annual Leadership Summit in Washington DC on June 7.

Modi was denied a US visa in 2005 on the grounds of alleged human rights violations after the 2002 Gujarat riots where over a thousand were killed and thousands more injured.

Moreover, a detailed Congressional-mandated annual 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in India, released in 2016 by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, continued to raise its concerns about those riot victims not receiving justice so far.

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