Modi’s state visit to the US: PM exhibits bonhomie with Biden at the White House

During his maiden state visit to the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a grand welcome at the White House from President Joe Biden.

Modi’s state visit to the US: PM exhibits bonhomie with Biden at the White House

Photo source: The White House/Facebook

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm welcome in the White House on Thursday, June 22nd, during his state trip to the US. Modi was received by US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The trio entered the White House after they concluded their statements at the South Lawns. 

“Thirty years ago, I came to the US as an ordinary citizen and saw the White House from outside”, Modi remarked in a speech outside the White House.

“After becoming the prime minister, I have visited the White House many times. This is the first time the gates of the White House have been opened for the Indian-American community in such large numbers”, Modi added.

Modi’s visit coincides with the US’s attempt to navigate amid tough challenges posed to its hegemonic quest by China and Russia. India, which shares a warm relationship with Russia, has so far refused to join the US-led western bloc’s bandwagon against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

However, India’s prevalent border dispute with China, especially after a minor skirmish at the eastern Ladakh region in mid-2020, has made the US hopeful of utilising the rift between the two Asian powers to retain its dominance in the Indo-Pacific region.

Modi’s state visit has provided the US with an opportunity to expand the areas of bilateral cooperation, especially in defence, healthcare, technology and other areas. India, which is marketing itself as a potential manufacturing destination to the western world, is also keen to attract major US corporations and cajole them to set up factories in its territory. 

“President Biden and I will hold bilateral talks in a short while now and discuss regional and global issues. I am sure that our talks will be positive”, Modi informed.

“In the post-Covid era, the world order is taking a new shape. In this time period, the friendship between India and the US will be instrumental in enhancing the strength of the whole world. India and the US are committed to working together for the global good and peace, stability and prosperity”, Modi added.

“The relationship between the US and India is one of the most defining relationships in the 21st century”, Biden said.

While welcoming Modi, Biden highlighted the four-nation anti-China military axis named QUAD, of which India is a member. Although India denies that the QUAD is an anti-China military axis, the US has been stressing that the coalition will counter China’s rise.

“With your cooperation, we have strengthened the QUAD for a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Decades from now, people will look back and say that the QUAD bent the arc of history for global good”, the president mentioned.

After arriving for a key one-on-one with the president, Modi was greeted at the White House with a Guard of Honour and a 19-gun salute. National anthems of India and the US were played in the presence of Modi and Biden.

Modi shows his gratitude towards Biden saying, Thank you for your friendship, President Biden … The grand and warm welcome I have received at the White House is a matter of respect and pride for 1.4bn Indians.”

Although Modi visited the US several times after becoming the prime minister in 2014, this is his maiden state visit to the country. A state visit has higher diplomatic status vis-a-vis other such visits.

Modi will also address the US Congress, for the second time in his tenure. This is a rare opportunity as only a handful of foreign state leaders had the opportunity to address the US Congress twice.

Following the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, the US banned Modi and denied him a visa. The travel restriction was lifted during Barack Obama’s presidency when Modi became the prime minister.

Several US Congress members have declared that they will boycott Modi’s address, protesting his government’s alleged mistreatment of religious minorities and suppression of democratic rights.

Ritika passionately reports on current affairs, conflicts and politics. Ritika pursued BA in Mass Communication from St Xavier’s University, Kolkata. She loves watching films or reading when she isn't chasing the news.

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