PM Modi’s first state visit on June 22nd is likely to deepen India-US bilateral relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first state visit to the US is expected to deepen India-US bilateral relations with an aim to counter China.

PM Modi’s first state visit on June 22nd is likely to deepen India-US bilateral relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commence his state visit to the US on President Joe Biden’s invitation in June. A senior official at the US State Department said the state visit offers a great opportunity for the two leaders to grow bilateral trade, investment and defence partnerships. It will also be a great avenue to discuss new areas of India-US cooperation. 

Modi’s official state visit is to include a state dinner on June 22nd. For months, the visit has been in the works as the Indian officials were planning the logistics to work out Modi’s first state visit during the Biden administration.

The upcoming visit confirms deep and close India-US ties. The US president and the first lady will host Modi at a state dinner. The Indian government said it would underscore the “growing importance” of the India-US bilateral relations

“The visit will underscore the growing importance of the strategic partnership between India and the United States as the two nations collaborate across numerous sectors. The leaders will have the opportunity to review strong bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest, including technology, trade, industry and deepening people-to-people connections,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated

Modi’s state visit signals the importance of India-US relations, as the Biden administration accelerates policies and initiatives to contain the rising clout of China in the world. This is evident from the White House’s statement, “The visit 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 (sic).”

As per the White House, Modi and Biden are expected to discuss extension in educational exchanges, evolution in climate change, development in the workforce, and expansion of health security. 

This is Modi’s first state visit to the US during his nine-year tenure as prime minister. The last visit to the US by an Indian premier was from November 23rd to 25th 2009, by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh. 

PM Modi has visited the US multiple times as the Indian prime minister but none of these visits were termed as state visits. A state visit is the highest-ranked visit as per diplomatic protocol. 

Modi’s earlier visits were classified as working visit (2014), working lunch (2016) and official working visit (2017). His 2019 visit to the US to address the Indian diaspora in the US was a mega-event – ‘Howdy Modi!’ This visit is described by the US Department of State website as one in which Modi “Participated in a rally in Houston, Texas.”

Even though state visits are officially and ceremonially most prestigious, for actual diplomatic work, the classification of state visits doesn’t make much difference. Working visits can accomplish the task of fostering healthy relationships between two countries as state visits. In fact, due to the rarity of state visits and the ceremonial functions they entail, most tasks are actually done during other visits.

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