Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress on June 8, a day after meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington. US House Speaker Paul Ryan, on whose invitation Modi will address the Congress, confirmed the news in a tweet, saying it was “an opportunity extended to few foreign leaders”.
During their meeting on June 7, Modi and Obama will discuss matters like economic growth, security and defence cooperation, climate change and clean energy, the White House said in a statement on Friday, Reuters reported. “The visit will highlight the deepening of the US-India relationship in key areas...The two countries’ partnership is seen as critical in Washington, which is seeking to counterbalance China’s increasing power.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the main objective of Modi’s visit is “to consolidate the progress made in diverse areas such as economy, energy, environment, defence and security” and “to intensify cooperation for the future”. The statement added that during his visit, the prime minister will also meet with top chief executives, NDTV reported.
Last year, Pope Francis and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were the only two leaders invited to address the US Congress. Modi is the first to be offered the opportunity to address the US Congress this year. This will be his fourth trip to the US in his two years as the prime minister of India.