Modi to visit US and Egypt next week

The Asian Age.  | Sridhar Kumaraswami

India, All India

First leg of the visit to the US will commence in New York on June 21

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Indian community programme, in the United States. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: India on Friday officially announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States next week, adding that he will visit Egypt too. Mr Modi will begin his two-nation visit on June 20 and culminate on June 25. The first leg of the visit to the US will commence in New York on June 21, where the PM will lead the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations headquarters.

The Prime Minister will thereafter travel to Washington for the bilateral component of the visit, during which he will address a joint sitting of the US Congress on June 22. US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host Mr Modi at a state dinner on the same day.

Sources said both India and the US want to take their bilateral ties into new domains of strategic partnership between both nations, involving not just government-to-government cooperation but also industry from both nations. The focus would be on the technological partnership in the long-term involving the industrial ecosystem in both nations, which will involve a fair deal of technology transfer from the US to India.

There is a great "deal of American interest in linking up with the Indian economic structure", the cources said, adding that there was a strong interest in both sides to make the visit a "resounding success". They also pointed to the mobility and movement of skilled manpower between both nations as a critical component. Efforts are also being made to simplify the regulatory frameworks to strengthen the trade and technological partnership between both nations.

The defence sector is also another main area of cooperation between India and the US. Speculation is rife that an announcement is likely to be made during the visit regarding India's possible acquisition of 30 MQ-9B Predator armed drones from the US at a cost of over $3 billion. There is officially no word as yet.

The adverse impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on developing nations is also expected to be a priority conversation during the visit, sources said. The visit is expected to be "high on form and substance", with both nations discussing bilateral, regional and global issues during the visit. However, according to sources, the visit will have no impact on India’s existing deep-rooted relationship with Russia.

During the visit, Mr Modi and Mr Biden are expected to discuss developments in the Indo-Pacific region, including those of other large developing nations in the region.
In an official statement issued earlier in the day, New Delhi said that on June 23, the Prime Minister will be jointly hosted at a luncheon by US vice-president Kamala Harris and secretary of state Antony Blinken. In addition to the official engagements, the Prime Minister is scheduled to have several curated interactions with leading CEOs, professionals, and other stakeholders. He will also meet members of the Indian diaspora.

On the second leg of Mr Modi's visit, the ministry of external affairs said that the Prime Minister will subsequently travel to Cairo to pay a state visit to Egypt from June 24–25. The visit is at the invitation of President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which he extended to the Prime Minister in January. This will be the Prime Minister’s first visit to Egypt."

The ministry added: "Apart from his talks with Mr Sisi, the Prime Minister is likely to interact with senior dignitaries from the Egyptian government, some prominent Egyptian personalities, as well as the Indian community in Egypt. During the state visit of the Egyptian President in January, it was agreed to elevate the relationship to a strategic partnership."

Meanwhile, in response to a tweet from the President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly Csaba Korosi that he was looking forward to participating along with Mr Modi in the International Yoga Day celebrations at the UN in New York next Wednesday, the PM also tweeted, "Looking forward to seeing you at the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UNHQ. Your participation makes the programme even more special. Yoga brings the world together towards furthering good health and wellness. May it keep getting more popular globally."

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