PM Narendra Modi confident about deepening bond with US during upcoming trip

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New Delhi, Sep 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed confidence that his upcoming visit to the US will help further deepen the bond between the two countries by building on the "substantial ground" covered during his last trip and President Barack Obama's visit here earlier this year.

Modi will be undertaking a seven-day trip to Ireland and the US from September 23. In the first leg of the two-nation tour, he will visit Ireland, marking first Prime Ministerial visit from India in almost 60 years, he said in a statement.

[PM Narendra Modi to stay at Waldorf Astoria in New York]

PM Narendra Modi

"In Ireland I will hold talks with Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach of Ireland. We hope to further develop strong people-to-people and economic ties with Ireland in the years to come," Modi said, adding he will also interact with the Indian community.

On September 24, he will commence his visit to USA. "This visit seeks to build on the substantial ground covered during my last visit to USA and President Obama's visit to India early this year," the Prime Minister said.

"I am sure my US visit will be fruitful and further deepen the bond between the world's oldest and largest democracies," he said. Modi said he was going to USA at a "historic moment" when the United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

"India attaches great importance to the United Nations. In July, I had written a letter to heads of governments of 193 nations outlining India's vision for UN agenda and reforms. I am glad that leaders of several nations wrote back appreciating our vision," he said.

In New York City, he will address the UN Sustainable Development Summit for formal adoption of post-2015 new sustainable development agenda.

"Coming from a culture that regards harmony as central to its ethos, I am glad to have an opportunity to address this forum. The new goals are closely aligned with India's vision for sustainable development and our flagship programs for the same," the Prime Minister said.

"I will also participate in a summit hosted by President Obama on peacekeeping," he added.

He noted that India has historically been one of the largest contributors to the UN peacekeeping forces with 1,80,000 Indian troops having participated in UN peacekeeping missions - more than from any other country.

"We are proud of our peacekeeping forces spread across the world, ensuring peace in difficult circumstances. I will pay homage to all those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for peace. And I look forward to sharing my thoughts on how to make peacekeeping more effective," he said. 

This year, India will host a summit of G-4 leaders in New York where the main agenda would be the UNSC reforms.

"The 70th anniversary of the UN is an apposite moment for reform discussions to be accelerated. Recently, the UN General Assembly finally adopted a document after over 20 years that would form the basis of formal discussions on this matter," the Prime Minister said.

Modi said he will also be meeting several world leaders during the visit and have interactions with leading investors and financial sector firms. There will be a working dinner where major Fortune-500 companies will be present to deliberate on investment opportunities in India.

"We have been interacting with several American business leaders over the last year and the outcomes have been encouraging," he said.

During his US visit, he will also be visiting the West Coast on September 26 and 27. "It would be after a gap of almost 33 years that an Indian PM would be visiting the west coast – the home of start-ups, innovation and technology," he said.

Modi will also be visiting Facebook headquarters at the invitation of its CEO Mark Zuckerberg and have a Townhall Q&A there.

"We will discuss some global issues and issues relating to India, particularly on the economy and society. This is a Townhall you shouldn't miss," Modi said.

He will also visit Google campus and Tesla Motors. "I will also see some recent technological innovations at the Google (Alphabet) campus and Tesla Motors," he said.

"An event that I am enthusiastic about is the 'India-US Start-up Konnect'," he said about an event where a group of Indian start-ups will showcase their innovations and forge partnerships with the vibrant American start-up industry.

He said India is emerging as a hub of start-ups in a wide range of areas and "we aspire to take this further. We want the world to see our innovation capabilities in the start-up sector".

In San Jose, he will interact with the Indian community on September 27.

"The Indian diaspora has left no stone unturned in strengthening India-USA ties. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our diaspora that has made immense contributions to both our societies," he said.

PTI

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