Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US next month is “historic” and will underscore that the partnership between the two nations is people-centric, people-driven, and is good for the world at large, India’s top Indian diplomat here has said.
President Biden will host Prime Minister Modi for an Official State Visit to the United States, which will include a state dinner, on June 22, the White House announced on Wednesday.
“The upcoming visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the US and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement while announcing the visit.
India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu told PTI that Prime Minister Modi’s forthcoming official state visit to the US, at the invitation of President Biden, is “historic”.
“Prime Minister and President Biden have together imparted significantly new vigour and momentum to our bilateral ties. The visit will be an opportunity for the two leaders to spend time together, take stock of the progress achieved and provide guidance on the future limitless possibilities,” he said.
“The visit will also underscore that India-US partnership is people-centric and people-driven and that it is not just for the two countries, but for the world at large,” Mr Sandhu said.
White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday the visit will strengthen the two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific and shared resolve to elevate the strategic technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy, and space.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
China and its diplomats have been attacking the Indo-Pacific concept from the beginning claiming that it is aimed at containing Beijing.
“The leaders will discuss ways to further expand our educational exchanges and people-to-people ties, as well as our work together to confront common challenges from climate change to workforce development and health security,” Jean-Pierre said.
The White House’s announcement on Biden’s invitation to Modi has been widely welcomed.
“I am delighted that the White House has invited the Prime Minister for a state visit which will help strengthen the strategic partnership between our nations,” Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna told PTI.
Khanna is the Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus, the largest country-specific caucus in the House of Representatives.
Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum, said Modi’s visit in June will be a wonderful opportunity to elevate the bilateral partnership to the next level.
“President Biden and Prime Minister Modi will be meeting in a few weeks’ time at the Quad Leader’s Summit in Australia and later this year at the G20 in India. Both leaders have used minilaterals such as the Quad, I2U2, and the G20 summits to work on common goals,” Aghi said.
“However, the state visit will provide a valuable and timely opportunity for both Washington and New Delhi to strengthen the edifice of this strategic partnership and work on enhancing commercial ties, building resilient supply chains, and creating new synergies in the critical and emerging technology domain,” he said.
Atul Keshap, president of US India Business Council, said the invitation is a big diplomatic gesture from the United States.
“India was last honoured with a State Visit in 2009. That PM Modi is being honoured with only the third State Visit of the Biden Administration shows the respect and affection the American people have for a rising India,” he said.
It is entirely good and proper that the world’s two greatest democracies further cement their strategic, economic, and technology convergence in these turbulent geostrategic times,” he said.
“The state visit will remind the world that India and America still have so much more potential to capture in our bilateral relations, reflecting the energy and talent of our demographics and our systems, which serve to empower our free peoples,” Keshap said.
Aparna Pande, from the Hudson Institute think-tank, said India is key to the security, diplomatic, and commercial architecture that the United States is building across the Indo Pacific.
“For the Modi government also, a stronger strategic partnership with the United States is critical to boosting India’s leverage in the global arena,” Pande said.