Indian Prime Minister Likely To Visit US In September, No Official Word On It Yet

NEW DELHI — Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, is expected to visit the United States at the end of September.

The official confirmation about the visit is not out now; as per sources, the preparations for the visit are underway.

A source familiar with developments said the schedule is yet to be finalized and is premature.

As per the tentative plan, the expected dates for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US are being worked out are Sept. 23 to Sept. 24.

Modi last visited the US in 2019 during which, he and then President Donald Trump addressed a huge diaspora event in Houston.

After Washington, Modi will visit New York to attend the annual high-level United Nations General Assembly session.

India is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and its month-long presidency has just ended. Afghanistan, which has plunged into crisis following the Taliban takeover, will be the key topic at the United Nations General Assembly this time.

It is learned that United Nations General Assembly will be in a hybrid format in 2021.

If the visit gets materialized, it will be Modi’s first physical overseas visit and a first in-person meeting with US president Joe Biden.

Modi and Biden have met virtually at various multilateral meetings like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and G7 meetings.

In Washington, while talking to reporters, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla indicated a possibility of a Quad meet.

“I mean, look, I cannot comment on that, but the fact of the matter is that if there is a summit, Prime Minister has already said that he would, he would be happy to attend that summit,” said Shringla. “I think other leaders have also said that they will be ready, so it all it’s all a question of, you know, getting the leaders together and going ahead.”

“If the leaders come in, they would come because of this (Quad) meeting, as you know the United Nations General Assembly is this time is a truncated version, it’s a hybrid version. Very few heads of state and government will actually attend it. So, attending that meeting in person is not a great priority. But then again, I mean, it’s a fluid situation so let’s see how that goes.”

Political instability in Japan has also cast a shadow on the proposed Quad meeting. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said he will not run for party re-election in September.

Shringla, who is in Washington, has held discussions with several seniors officials of the Biden administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman.

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also held series of telephonic conversations with his counterpart Blinken.

The US has supported India during the evacuations of its citizens after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15.

Washington also offered assistance during the deadly second wave of Covid-19 earlier in 2021.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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