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Modi Takes US-India Ties to New Level

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Modi being received by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mr. Paul Ryan on his arrival, at Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, USA

‘I want the combined power of India and US to become a force for the good in the world,’ said Modi. Without mentioning Pakistan, he mentioned  terrorism “is incubated in India’s neighbourhood”

Modi being received by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mr. Paul Ryan on his arrival, at Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, USA
Modi being received by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mr. Paul Ryan on his arrival, at Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, USA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the India-US relations have gone way beyond diplomacy and now it is at a stage where the two countries can be forces of good for the world.

Modi is the fifth Indian Prime Minister after Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atul Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh to address a joint sitting of the US Congress.

“The US was first curious about India but now our shared values have led us to think together about what we can do for the world,” he said at a reception organised after his address to a joint sitting of the US Congress.

“I want the combined power of India and US to become a force for the good in the world,” he said.

The reception was jointly organised by the House of Representatives, Senate and the India Caucus.

“From combating global warming to terrorism, there is much that India and the US can do together by pooling resources,” Modi said.

The prime minister said the opportunity given to him to address the joint sitting was not an honour only for him, but also for 1.25 billion Indians and expressed his heartfelt gratitude.

The prime minister said, stressing that those who harbour, support or sponsor terrorists, and separate religion from terrorism must be “isolated”.

In a speech regularly interrupted by applause, Mr Modi did not mention China either but at as concerns grow for disputes over the South China Sea, he said “India also help ensure security of the sea lanes and commerce and freedom of navigation on seas.”

The PM is the fifth Indian leader since 1985 to address a joint session of the US Congress, and the first foreign leader to be invited to do so this year.

This three-day visit is the fourth time that the PM has travelled to the US since he took office. He met yesterday with President Barack Obama, who reiterated America’s support for India’s entry to the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group), which currently has 48 countries who trade in sophisticated nuclear technology and material while ensuring it is not used for weapons

Modi also  praised the manifold contributions of the Indian-American community to the US.

“Connecting our two nations is also a unique and dynamic bridge of three million Indian Americans,” Modi said.

“They are among your best CEOs, academics, scientists, economics, doctors, even spelling bee champions,” he said eliciting standing applause from the US lawmakers.

He also mentioned the popularity of yoga and said India has not yet claimed intellectual property rights for it.

“SIRI (Siri Peterson Cavanna yoga classes) tells us that India’s ancient heritage of yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the US,” the Prime Minister said.

“And, we have not yet claimed intellectual property rights on yoga,” he stated adding a touch of humour.

Modi meeting the US Congress members, before his address to the Joint Session, at Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, USA
Modi meeting the US Congress members, before his address to the Joint Session, at Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, USA