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US Senators Describe India as "Most Critical' Partner to Counter China

A number of US senators demanded that PM Narendra Modi be invited to speak before Congress during his state visit.

US Senators Describe India as Most Critical Partner to Counter China

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 May 2023 8:13 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making a state visit to the US in June at President Joe Biden's invitation, and the leadership of a group of US House of Representatives members focused on India advocated for inviting him to address a joint session of Congress during that visit.

"On June 22, 2023, President Biden is hosting Prime Minister Modi for an Official State Visit and a State Dinner. As State Dinners have come to signify the President`s utmost respect for visiting heads of state, granting a joint address to Congress is a commensurate honour for the leader of the world`s largest democracy and perhaps the most critical partner to countering China in the 21st century," Democratic and Republican representatives Ro Khanna and James Waltz wrote to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a joint letter.

"We firmly believe that inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver a joint address to Congress would further strengthen the deep and enduring friendship between the US and India," they added in the letter.

There was no indication as to whether Republican Speaker McCarthy would agree. If he does and Modi agrees, the latter will create history by becoming the first Indian prime minister to twice address a joint session of the US Congress. In the first, which he delivered in June 2016, he sought to revitalise the two countries' relationship by having them overcome "the hesitations of history."

Earlier this month, it was made public by both parties that Biden had invited Modi to the United States for a state visit in June that would also include a state dinner at the White House.

The latest Indian Prime Minister to receive a state banquet was Manmohan Singh, who was greeted by President Barack Obama. Singh was also the first head of state to attend a state dinner during Obama's presidency.

After several administrations and governments on both sides over the past 10 years, India and the US have developed a unique bond that is unusual and is announced by a state dinner.

President Barack Obama gave Manmohan Singh a warm welcome. He was the last Indian Prime Minister to be honoured with a state banquet. Singh was also the first head of state to attend a state dinner during the Obama administration.

Invoking this unique connection, the co-chairs of the House of Representatives' India Caucus, Khanna and Waltz, asked the US Speaker to welcome Modi.

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