Feb 1, 2023
Biden, Modi Aides Discussing Possible State Visit to Washington
(Bloomberg) -- Aides for US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are discussing a possible state visit to Washington later this year, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The two nations are still discussing details including possible dates for the meeting. So far, Biden has only hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for a state visit, which customarily includes extended bilateral meetings along with a formal dinner.
The discussion comes as India plans to host the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi in September. While the White House has not yet confirmed Biden’s plans, the US president customarily attends the meeting.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about a possible state visit for Modi, which was originally reported by the Indian news agency Press Trust of India. A spokesperson for the prime minister’s office declined to comment.
Modi’s possible visit was discussed on the sidelines of a meeting in Washington between US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Tuesday, an Indian official said, asking not be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. No dates have been decided, the official added.
The US and India are working to share advanced defense and computing technology, including the potential joint production of General Electric Co. jet engines. The plan, known as US–India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, was released Tuesday.
Read more: Made-in-India GE Jet Engines Under Study as US Eyes Defense Ties
The partnership is intended in part to counter Russian influence in India and China’s growing assertiveness, and US political leaders of both parties have sought to strengthen ties with Modi.
“As two of the world’s leading economies and democracies, it is in our interest to strengthen this partnership and deliver for our people, when you think about the economies and the people around the world,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
In 2019, former President Donald Trump hosted the Indian prime minister for a “Howdy Modi” rally in Houston, which attracted some 50,000 people to the home stadium of the Houston Texans.
Modi returned the favor the next year, hosting a “Namaste Trump” tour through India that saw the former president visit the Taj Mahal and host a rally before an estimated 100,000 Indians at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
--With assistance from Bibhudatta Pradhan and Sudhi Ranjan Sen.
(Updates with details in paragraph five)
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