Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited to address American Congress

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Modi’s upcoming congressional address coincides with a state visit by President Joe Biden, during which Modi will receive high diplomatic honors typically reserved for close allies of the United States.

U.S. congressional leaders have extended an invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak at a joint meeting of Congress, during an upcoming visit to Washington. This move is part of the America’s efforts to strengthen its ties with India, the world’s most populous democracy, in response to China’s increasing influence.

On Friday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and other leaders announced that they had invited Modi to deliver the address on June 22. In a letter, they mentioned “partnership between our two countries continues to grow” and calling the address an “opportunity to share your vision for India’s future and speak to the global challenges our countries both face”.

The United States is looking to strengthen its diplomatic ties with foreign nations, particularly in Asia, as a means to counteract China’s aggressive actions in the region.

Modi’s upcoming congressional address coincides with a state visit by President Joe Biden, during which Modi will receive high diplomatic honors typically reserved for close allies of the United States. This visit highlights America’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with India as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to the White House, Modi’s visit presents an opportunity to strengthen a shared commitment to a free and secure Indo-Pacific region, establish technology partnerships, and address the issue of climate change.

At last month’s Group of Seven summit in Japan, Biden had a meeting with Modi, and he had planned to attend subsequent gatherings in Papua New Guinea and Australia with the Indian Prime Minister. However, the second leg of Biden’s trip was cancelled, as the President needed to return home to manage the standoff with House Republicans over the US national debt.

Congress frequently invites heads of state to deliver speeches during joint meetings, providing a prominent platform to demonstrate the ties between the United States and other countries. Modi spoke before Congress in 2016, becoming the fifth Indian Prime Minister to do so.

Biden is seeking to bolster the Quad, a multinational alliance comprising the United States, Australia, India, and Japan, which is viewed as a potential counterbalance to China’s hegemony in the region.

Congressional leaders appear to be in agreement, as their letter to Modi expresses their anticipation of laying the groundwork for increased cooperation between the United States and India in the years ahead.

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