Washington DC: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US is in the works and amongst things on the menu is a mega Yoga Day.
Sources say that the Big Apple will be the likely venue and the UN building is being looked at where Prime Minister Modi will perform Yoga with the UN Secretary-General and other dignitaries and send the message of Yoga as the unifier in the world.
This will also be a big message to the American people as Yoga has been embraced as a key fitness regime in America.
The official state visit will begin in Washington DC with President Joe Biden rolling out a red carpet for the Indian Premier. In ceremonial terms, a state visit is the highest honour for a visiting dignitary and not all heads of state get that honour.
Besides, delegation-level talks and a one-on-one meeting are planned and a joint statement is in the works which will create a shared roadmap for the two democracies to cement their strategic partnership.
From security cooperation to trade, education, cyber security, defence and climate change, the menu is quite large. The indication that a special welcome awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given by the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken when he was in Delhi for the G-20 Foreign Minister’s meeting earlier this month.
In Washington DC, Prime Minister’s full agenda is still being worked out but from the captains of the business to lawmakers and the Indian diaspora there will be a packed schedule for PM Modi. On June 22 or June 23, a state dinner is being planned in the White House.
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Post that Prime Minister Modi is expected to be in Chicago on June 24, where a big diaspora event is being planned along the lines of the Madison Square Garden event and Howdy Modi in Houston.
While the exact schedule is still being worked out, sources in South Block confirmed to NewsMobile that a visit from June 21 to New York for International Yoga Day followed by the bilateral visit to Washington DC on June 22 and June 23 are being explored and the PM’s calendar has been blocked.
Informed sources say the relationship has seen a dramatic turnaround with a much greater understanding of India’s concerns.
The push has been assiduously crafted by the initiative of Prime Minister Modi whose muscular foreign policy found resonance with the US, that India is a trusted and dependable partner with a shared commitment.
The team of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and NSA Ajit Doval have constantly engaged with the US interlocutors to make Washington realise the strength and potential of this partnership.
Sources say that Indian pushback on the US price cap endeavour to stop the use of Russian oil and India’s calibrated approach on the Russian war against Ukraine has been understood by the administration to realise the sensitivities around the issue.
On the immigration issue too, even though India continues to be clubbed with China on green card issuance for the highly skilled EB-1 category, which has seen a retrogression, where the wait times have increased significantly.
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The long visa times are now slowly reducing with the US allowing Indians to apply for visas anywhere in the world where they can find a spot, but the issue.
Community leaders say this is an issue that a greater heft may be required during the visit of Prime Minister Modi.
The recent developments have only given indication that the relationship is on a fast track and both New Delhi and Washington are working to keep pace.
The US senate is expected to finally green light the new US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti to be in place before the Indian PM arrives for his state visit. A former LA Mayor, Garcetti is a heavy-weight politician and will benefit the relationship.
In Washington, there is complete unanimity that India is the chosen partner for the US and behind closed doors, they will continue to press each other to do more on issues of democracy and human rights, but on a broader canvas this is the best time for the relationship, and they must now let the momentum slip away.