Washington: President Joe Biden will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House next month. Biden has sought stronger ties with India as the United States looks to blunt China’s growing assertiveness in the region.
A state visit is one made by the head of government or a state. It can be made only at the invitation of the sitting US president in his or her capacity as head of state.
PM Modi’s visit June 22 “will 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,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday in announcing the Indian leader’s official state visit.
Biden and Modi will focus on their countries’ commitment to a free and secure Indo-Pacific region, as well as on their technology partnerships, including in defense, clean energy and space, she said. They will also discuss common challenges, including climate change, health security and developing the workforce.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the visit will “underscore the growing importance of the strategic partnership between India and the United States”
“This historic visit offers a valuable opportunity for India and the US to further deepen a comprehensive and forward-looking global strategic partnership,” the Indian government said.
Since coming to office, Biden has sought to reinvigorate the Quad, an international partnership with the U.S., Australia, India and Japan. But unlike the other Quad countries and nearly every other major U.S. ally, India has not imposed sanctions on Russia and has offered only limited criticism of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is India’s biggest supplier of military hardware.
Biden last hosted Modi at the White House in September 2021 for a meeting of leaders of the Quad. India also holds the rotating president of the Group of 20 nations and Biden is expected to attend that summit in New Delhi later this year.
Modi is the third foreign leader whom Biden has invited on an official state visit, which includes an expansive arrival ceremony with pomp and pageantry on the White House lawn and a ritzy state dinner with scores of guests from the worlds of politics, business and entertainment. French President Emmanuel Macron visited late last year, followed by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in April.
The last time India was so honored was nearly 15 years ago, under then-President Barack Obama in 2009.