New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Tuesday on the first leg of his maiden state visit to the US during which he will lead the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations Headquarters and hold bilateral talks with President Joe Biden in Washington.
Modi is visiting the US from June 21-24 at the invitation of President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who will host him at a state dinner on June 22. The visit includes an address by the prime minister to the joint session of the US Congress on June 22.
In his departure statement, Modi said this "special invitation" from President Biden and the First Lady for a state visit is a reflection of the vigour and vitality of the partnership between the democracies.
"I will commence my visit in New York, where I will celebrate the International Day of Yoga on June 21 at the United Nations Headquarters with the UN leadership and members of the international community," the prime minister said.
"I look forward to this special celebration at the very location that supported India's proposal in December 2014 to recognise an International Day of Yoga," he said.
Nine years after Prime Minister Modi first proposed from the United Nations General Assembly podium to mark International Yoga Day as an annual commemoration, the Indian leader will for the first time be at the UN Headquarters to lead the yoga session in a historic commemoration of the day.
From New York, Modi will travel to Washington D.C. where he will hold talks with President Biden.
The prime minister noted that President Biden and he have had the opportunity to meet several times since his last official visit to the US in September 2021. "This visit will be an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership," Modi said.
Modi said his discussions with President Biden and other senior US leaders will provide an opportunity to consolidate bilateral cooperation as well as in plurilateral forums such as G20, Quad and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity).
The prime minister said he will also join President Biden and the First Lady for the state banquet along with a number of dignitaries.
Noting that the US Congress has always provided strong bi-partisan support to India-US ties, Modi said that during his visit, he will address a joint session of the US Congress at the invitation of the Congressional leadership.
"Strong people-to-people linkages have been instrumental in developing the trust between our countries. I look forward to meeting the vibrant Indian-American community that represents the best of our societies," he said.
"I will also meet some of the leading CEOs to discuss opportunities for elevating our trade and investment relationship and for building resilient global supply chains," Modi said.
Modi will also meet business leaders, interact with the Indian community and meet thought leaders from different walks of life.
"We seek to deepen India-USA ties in key sectors like trade, commerce, innovation, technology and other such areas," he said.
The US is India's largest trade partner in goods and services, and the two countries collaborate closely in the fields of science and technology, education, health, defence and security, the prime minister said.
The initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies has added new dimensions and widened collaboration in defence industrial cooperation, space, telecom, quantum, artificial intelligence and biotech sectors, he added.
"Our two countries are also collaborating to further our shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific," he said.
Modi expressed confidence that his visit to the US will reinforce ties between the two countries based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom.
"Together we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges," Modi said in his statement.
From the US, Modi will travel to Egypt at the invitation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.