PM Modi arrives in Washington on second leg of his maiden state visit to US | India News

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Wednesday on the second leg of his maiden state visit to the US during which he will hold bilateral talks with President Joe Biden and address a joint session of the US Congress.
Modi arrived here from New York where he led a historic event at the UN Headquarters earlier in the day to commemorate the 9th International Day of Yoga, attended by UN officials, diplomats and prominent personalities.
The prime minister, who is visiting the US at the invitation of President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, will join them for the state banquet along with a number of dignitaries on Thursday.
Modi arrived at the Joint Base Andrews in Washington, DC where he was given a guard of honour amid incessant rains. The Prime Minister, who was wearing a raincoat, stood for the national anthem of the two countries.
“The Official State visit moves to its next phase. PM @narendramodi accorded a ceremonial welcome and guard of honour as he sets foot at the Joint Base Andrews airport in Washington DC. In Washington DC, PM will hold bilateral meeting with @POTUS @JoeBiden; address the Joint Session of the US Congress; and interact with CEOs and a cross-section of Indian diaspora,” Arindam Bagchi, the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a tweet.
From the airport, Modi travelled to the hotel where Indian diaspora members were waiting for him.
Indian diaspora members braved rain to welcome Modi at Freedom Plaza in Washington. Some of the community members staged cultural programmes including ‘Garba’ and other folk dances outside the hotel in Washington DC where Modi will stay.
“We are very happy, this is a memorable event. We are very excited and looking forward,” said Kavita, a Kuchipudi dancer representing Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Some diaspora members in colourful attires were carrying Indian flags and chanting ‘Modi-Modi’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Modi briefly interacted with the enthusiastic supporters at the hotel and gave autographs to some of them.
Later, the First Lady and Prime Minister Modi will visit the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia to highlight the US and India’s shared priorities around education and workforce. The First Lady will highlight career-connected learning and workforce training programs and partnerships between high schools, community colleges, and universities with employers.
During the visit, the First Lady and the Prime Minister will meet students from the US and India who are learning skills to succeed in industries vital to the economies of the two countries.
In his departure statement, Modi had said this “special invitation” from President Biden and the First Lady for a state visit is a reflection of the vigour and vitality of the partnership between the democracies.
Modi and Biden have had the opportunity to meet several times since his last official visit to the US in September 2021. “This visit will be an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership,” Modi said.
Modi said his discussions with President Biden and other senior US leaders will provide an opportunity to consolidate bilateral cooperation as well as in plurilateral forums such as G20, Quad and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity).
Noting that the US Congress has always provided strong bi-partisan support to India-US ties, Modi said that during his visit, he will address a joint session of the US Congress at the invitation of the Congressional leadership.
“Strong people-to-people linkages have been instrumental in developing the trust between our countries. I look forward to meeting the vibrant Indian-American community that represents the best of our societies,” he said.
In Washington, Modi will also meet business leaders and interact with the Indian community.
“We seek to deepen India-USA ties in key sectors like trade, commerce, innovation, technology and other such areas,” he said.
The US is India’s largest trade partner in goods and services, and the two countries collaborate closely in the fields of science and technology, education, health, defence and security, the prime minister said.
The initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies has added new dimensions and widened collaboration in defence industrial cooperation, space, telecom, quantum, artificial intelligence and biotech sectors, he added.
“Our two countries are also collaborating to further our shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Modi expressed confidence that his visit to the US will reinforce ties between the two countries based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom.
“Together we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges,” Modi said in his statement.
From the US, Modi will travel to Egypt at the invitation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

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