New York: Describing America as India’s “natural global partner”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Friday on a five-day visit to the US, holding out an assurance that India is “open and friendly” for business and innovations.
Modi flew into New York’s JFK airport on a special Air India Boeing plane on the first leg of his maiden visit to the US as Prime Minister after a nearly nine-hour flight from Frankfurt where he had an overnight halt.
As he seeks to hardsell India as a sound investment destination and mend ties with the US after a bitter diplomatic row last year, Modi asserted that the two countries have a fundamental stake and many shared interests in each other’s success.
Ahead of his arrival, Modi said he was looking forward to meeting President Barack Obama in Washington over two days from September 29 on the second and final leg of his visit.
This will be the first meeting between the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies.
The Prime Minister, who has a power-packed schedule, both in New York and Washington, with nearly 50 engagements, is due to deliver his maiden address to the UN General Assembly(UNGA) on Saturday during his three-day stay in New York.
Giving an insight into his UN address, Modi had said he he will call for a stronger global commitment and more concerted multilateral action in addressing challenges of fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world and growth and spread of terrorism.
Modi had said he will discuss with Obama how Indo-US ties can be taken to a “new level” in the interest of the two countries as well as of the world. He had also called the US as India’s “vital partner” for its national development.
Obama will host a rare private dinner for Modi at the White House on September 29, so as to establish a personal relationship with the Indian leader ahead of summit talks the next day.
The Prime Minister is expected to have only tea and lemonade at the dinner as his US visit coincides with the Navratri fast which he religiously observes every year.
In an Op-Ed piece “Unleashing India’s Energy and Drive” in the Wall Street Journal, Modi wrote that India and the US have “a fundamental stake in each other’s success for the sake of our values and our many shared interests”.
“The US is our natural global partner. India and the US embody the enduring and universal relevance of their shared values,” Modi said, adding, “…India will be open and friendly–for business, ideas, research, innovations and travel. In the coming months, you will feel the difference even before you begin your travel to India.”