Friday, Dec 01, 2023

From Drones Deal To Technological Cooperation: How PM Modi's US State Visit Is Expected To Be High On Substance

From Drones Deal To Technological Cooperation: How PM Modi's US State Visit Is Expected To Be High On Substance

A state visit to the United States is an honour given to the closest friends and allies, according to American historian Matthew Costello.

US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming state visit to the United States is expected to include signing of key defence pacts and engagements with the brass of US government and business community that's aimed at further enhancing the bilateral relationship, according to persons familiar with the details.

Modi will visit the United States on his first state visit on June 21-23 and would engage with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, top US Cabinet and Congressional members, and industry leaders. 

Pacts such as the deal of armed drones and progress in areas of critically technology are also on the cards, reported PTI, citing people familiar with the details of the visit.

During Modi's state visit, India and the United States are "looking at concrete outcomes in a range of key areas such as defence and critical technology and ways to simplify regulatory framework for deeper industrial cooperation", according to PTI.

"People familiar with the preparation for the trip said a major aspect of Modi's state visit to Washington will be to lay a ground for forging a strong technology partnership and enhance economic engagement between India and the US," reported PTI.  

PM Modi's state visit's schedule

Modi's state visit to the United States comes at the invitation of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

Modi's visit will start in New York where he sould  lead International Day of Yoga celebrations at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on June 21, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a press release on Friday. 

The MEA said that Modi would travel to Washington DC where he would receive a ceremonial welcome the next day at the White House. The state dinner would be held later that evening. Modi would also address the joint session of the US Congress that day.

"At the invitation of Congressional Leaders, including the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mr. Charles Schumer, Prime Minister will address a Joint Sitting of the U.S. Congress on June 22," said the MEA.

The next day, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken would host Modi for a luncheon.

Besides governmental engagements, Modi would also engage with the Indian diaspora and business leaders.

"In addition to the official engagements, 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," said the MEA.

The agenda of PM Modi's visit

There is a "very genuine and widespread interest" on both sides to use the visit to take the relationship to the next level, the people familiar with the details told PTI.

"In terms of focus areas of discussions, it would perhaps be a very forward leaning visit," said one of the people cited above. 

Following Modi's talks with Biden, the two sides are expected to firm up a number of arrangements and deals, including one for India's procurement of 30 armed drones, reported PTI, adding that both the leaders are also likely to deliberate on the Ukraine War, the Indo-Pacific, China's aggressive behaviour in the region, and other regional and global issues of mutual interests.

The people cited above told PTI that Modi's visit will be "high on substance".

"Even the symbolism would also be very highly substantive in terms of the political messaging," said one of them, adding there is a "deep, genuine, strong and widespread interest" on the visit by both sides, reported PTI.

Earlier, American historian Matthew Costello told PTI that a US state visit is an honour given to the closest friends and allies and involves six months of meticulous planning by the White House and displays the best of American hospitality.

State visits serve as an acknowledgement to the host's respect for the country of the visiting leader, said Costello, Vice President and Interim Director of the David M Rubenstein National Center for White House History.

He earlier told PTI, "But there's a lot that goes on that not only shows an acknowledgement and respect for the visiting country, their culture, and their ideals but also what are our shared, ideas and goals and objectives that we can work together as a united bilateral relationship."