Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this evening reportedly to discuss his visit to the USA later this year and other foreign policy matters.
They could discuss the date for Mr Modi’s visit to Washington and also begin drawing up a blue print for it, sources said. This is the first such meeting called by the Prime Minister.
Earlier this month, Mr Modi accepted a formal invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the US in September. The invitation was handed over by visiting US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
Mr Burns said President Obama looked forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi and that it would be a “valuable opportunity” to renew the strategic partnership and spur trade between the two countries. “America has a deep stake in India’s success and PM Modi’s success,” he had said.
This week, another high ranking US official John Kerry visits New Delhi to co-chair the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Ms Swaraj on July 31. Ahead of his visit, Mr Kerry said the US and India have reached a “transformative moment” in their relations.
Mr Kerry described revitalising ties as a “strategic imperative.” Mr Kerry’s trip will mark the first US cabinet-level visit to New Delhi since Mr Modi took office in May this year.
President Obama was one of the first few global leaders to call up Mr Modi after the general elections results revealed that he had won a massive mandate. It was the first high-level contact between Mr Modi and the US leadership ever since Washington denied him a visa in 2005, citing the 2002 riots in Gujarat, of which Mr Modi was chief minister till he took over as the country’s Prime Minister two months ago.