UNGA General Debate begins Tuesday: Here’s PM Modi’s itinerary for the US visit

UNGA General Debate begins Tuesday: Here’s PM Modi’s itinerary for the US visit

India News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to go on a US visit this week, where he is expected to hold a series of back-to-back high-level meetings. As per a tentative schedule, PM Modi’s visit will take place between September 22-27. During his trip, the Prime Minister is expected to visit both Washington and New York.

Modi is expected to participate in the first in-person Quad — India, US, Australia and Japan — leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24 being hosted by US President Joe Biden at the White House. Apart from addressing the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, the two sides will also be working on an ambitious agenda concerning the Indo-Pacific region.

Modi will later address the General Debate of  the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 in New York.

According to news agency ANI, Modi will arrive in Washington on September 22 and the next morning he will be meeting with the top US CEOs.

Modi is likely to meet with Apple chief Tim Cook and US Vice President Kamala Harris. He is also expected to meet Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga on the same day, ANI reported.

On September 24, Modi will attend the Quad meeting. From Washington, Modi will travel to New York to address the UNGA on September 25.

This will be Modi’s first visit to the United States since President Joe Biden assumed charge early this year. The two have met virtually on at least three occasions – the Quad summit in March, the climate change summit in April, and the G-7 summit in June this year.

Modi was supposed to travel to the UK for the G-7 summit where he could have met Biden, but had to cancel the trip due to the second Covid-19 wave across India.

With the situation in Afghanistan unfolding rapidly, Modi’s visit is significant. Besides meeting Biden, he is expected to have important meetings with the top echelons of the US administration.

Modi last visited the US in September 2019, when then US President Donald Trump had addressed the Howdy Modi event – the Prime Minister’s “abki baar Trump sarkar” line had not gone down well with the Democratic party’s establishment.

Two years since, it will be an effort to reach out to the Democratic establishment, which has been quite vocal about the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the strategic side, the two sides will work on an ambitious agenda on the Indo-Pacific – with the Chinese challenge being one of the shared concerns.

In a bid to give shape to the PM’s agenda, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had met top Biden administration officials in Washington DC earlier this month, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, and held substantive discussions with them on the strategic bilateral ties and regional and global issues like the current situation in Afghanistan.

This was the first high-level discussion between the officials of the two countries after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan on August 31.

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