US lawmakers want House Speaker to invite PM Modi to address Congress
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit United States in the first week of June this year for a bilateral summit with President Barack Obama. This will be his 4th visit to the country after assuming the top office in May 2016. According to reports, the visit, yet to be announced by either side, is likely to take place from June 7 to 8.
The leaders of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee have approached House Speaker Paul Ryan to invite Narendra Modi to address a joint meeting of Congress during his upcoming visit to Washington.
"Given the depth of our relationship with India across a range of areas - defense, humanitarian and disaster relief, space cooperation, conservation and innovation - we believe this is an ideal opportunity for the Congress to hear directly from the Prime Minister," Representatives Ed Royce, the Republican committee chairman, and Eliot Engel, the panel's ranking Democrat, wrote to House Speaker.
Signatories to the letter include Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, ranking member Eliot Engel, and Congresmen George Holding and Ami Bera, who also happens to be the only Indian-American lawmaker in Congress.
PM Modi, who became the Prime Minister in May 2014, has already been to the US thrice, the latest being earlier this month for the Nuclear Security Summit.
The first time Modi travelled to US was in September 2014, beginning with his maiden address in the United Nations general assembly followed by attending a gala public reception by the Indian American community in New York’s Madison Square Garden before heading Washington for the bilateral talk with Obama.
In 2015, the Prime Minister travelled to US for the UN General Assembly meeting and had held bilateral discussions with the US President. The third and most recent visit was in April this year for Nuclear Security Summit.
At present, India and the US share an extensive and expanding cultural, strategic, military, and economic relationship which is in the phase of implementing confidence building measures (CBM) to overcome the legacy of trust deficit - brought about by adversarial US foreign policies and multiple instances of technology denial - which have plagued the relationship over several decades.
President Obama also visited India in January last year when he was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day.