New Delhi: The Indian and US governments announced on Wednesday, May 10, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be travelling to the United States for a state visit, including a state dinner, next month.
As per the White House communique, President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will host the Indian PM for an “Official State Visit to the United States, which will include a state dinner, on June 22, 2023”.
The visit is likely to “affirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together”.
The discussions among the two leaders are likely to be around expanding people-to-people ties and working together on “common challenges from climate change, to workforce development and health security”.
During the visit, the Indian and US leaders will “strengthen our two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific and our shared resolve to elevate our strategic technology partnership, including in defense, clean energy, and space”, the White House statement said.
The Indian government’s readout said both of the leaders will review the “strong bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest, including technology, trade, industry, education, research, clean energy, defense, security, healthcare, and deepening people-to-people connections”.
“They would reflect on their shared vision for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific and discuss opportunities to expand and consolidate the Quad engagement,” said the Indian press note.
During his US visit, Modi is likely to visit New York for Yoga Day on June 21. He, along with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, will take part in International Yoga day celebrations at the United Nations.
Since taking office in 2014, PM Modi has visited the United States five times, with his most recent visit occurring in 2019. While none of these visits were considered state visits, President Barack Obama did host Modi for lunch in June 2016.
The first Indian Prime Minister to receive a state dinner at the White House was Jawaharlal Nehru in October 1949, as per the White House Historical Association. This was followed by a second state dinner for him in 1963, followed by Indira Gandhi in 1966. Gandhi was back again for a state dinner in 1971. Presumably, Indira Gandhi had a more pleasant state dinner with President Ronald Reagan in July 1982, compared to her previous host, President Richard Nixon.
In July 1985, Rajiv Gandhi became the next Indian prime minister to receive a state dinner, followed by a 15-year gap until A.B. Vajpayee clinked glasses with President Bill Clinton in September 2000.
Previous prime minister Manmohan Singh was also hosted to two state dinners at the White House, once in July 2005 by President George W. Bush and then again by President Barack Obama in November 2009.