Thu, 08 Jun 2023

By Reena BhardwajWashington [US], May 24 (ANI): US Congressmen Ro Khanna and Michael Waltz on Tuesday wrote a letter to US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, urging him to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver a joint address to Congress during his first state visit to the United States.

Khanna, Waltz led the letter in their capacity as co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

PM Modi will visit the US on June 22 following an invitation from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

"We respectfully request your consideration in inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a joint address to Congress, highlighting the significance of the US-India strategic partnership and the shared values upon which it is built," Khanna, Waltz wrote in their letter addressed to McCarthy.

The White House on Tuesday said the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US will be an opportunity to reaffirm the deep, close partnership between US and India.

PM Modi's visit "will be an opportunity to reaffirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of the family and friendship that link America, Americans and clearly, Indians together. And so that's very important to the (US) President," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre on PM Modi's state visit to the US.

The White House Press Secretary said the visit will also strengthen US-India shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific and shared resolve to evaluate strategic technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy and space.

"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," Khanna and Waltz wrote in the letter.

As per the letter, the foundation of the US-India partnership lies in the shared commitment to democracy and the upholding of a rules-based international system.

The letter further read: "With mutual interests in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity, the United States and India have forged a deep bond. The recent in-person bilateral meetings between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have reaffirmed our dedication to a resilient international order that safeguards the sovereignty, upholds democratic values, and promotes peace and prosperity for all.""Furthermore, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, involving the United States, India, Japan, and Australia, has provided a platform for our countries to engage in meaningful discussions on shared regional and global security interests. The United States recognizes and supports India's emergence as a leading global power and a vital partner in safeguarding the Indo-Pacific region as a place of peace, stability, and growing prosperity," the letter by the two US Congressmen read.

The letter said the US and India have established cooperation in various fields through dialogues like the 22 Ministerial Dialogue and these dialogues cover a wide range of areas such as space, health, energy, counterterrorism, climate action, cybersecurity, education, trade policies, defence, and counternarcotics efforts.

"The strength of our strategic partnership is further amplified by the strong people-to-people ties between our nations. The four million-strong Indian American diaspora and vibrant educational exchanges between our countries exemplify the deep connection and potential for collaboration. Such ties are a tremendous source of strength and serve as a solid foundation for our strategic partnership. We believe that a joint address to Congress would provide an invaluable opportunity for members on both sides of the aisle to engage in constructive dialogue on matters of mutual interest and concern," Khanna, Waltz wrote in the letter.

"We sincerely appreciate your attention to this matter and your unwavering dedication to serving our great nation. 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 United States and India," the letter read. (ANI)

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