US lawmakers want Prime Minister Modi to address Joint Session of Congress during June 22 visit

The Quad leaders meeting during the G7 meetings in Japan May 19, 20, 21, 2023. PHOTO: Twitter @narendramodi

Co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congressmen Ro Khanna, D-California and  Michael Waltz, R-Florida, have initiated a letter May 23, 2023, requesting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver a joint address to Congress .

In the letter, Reps. Khanna and Waltz laid out the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the United States and India and the importance of highlighting the partnership by granting a joint address to Congress.

“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 honor for the leader of the world’s largest democracy and perhaps the most critical partner to countering China in the 21st century,” the lawmakers wrote.

Earlier this month, Khanna and Waltz hosted a US-India Summit on Capitol Hill featuring panels and remarks from government leaders, experts and Indian American leaders from across the country.

Congressman Ro Khanna, D-California (Photo: Twitter)

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and U.S. – India relations, we write to you as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans with a shared commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the United States and India,” the letter begins.

“We respectfully request your consideration in inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a joint address to Congress, highlighting the significance of the U.S.-India strategic partnership and the shared values upon which it is built,” the letter adds.

On June 22, 2023, President Biden is hosting Prime Minister Modi for an Official State Visit and a State Dinner.

“The foundation of our partnership lies in our shared commitment to democracy and the upholding of a rules-based international system. 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 lawmakers noted.

“The recent in-person bilateral meetings between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have reaffirmed our dedication to a resilient international order that safeguards sovereignty, upholds democratic values, and promotes peace and prosperity for all,” the letter goes on referring to meetings in Japan where the G7 meeting took place and The Quad countries, US, India, Australia, and Japan, also held a meeting.

“…. 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 lawmakers said, adding that, “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.”

It noted the multiple levels at which US and India have been cooperating on issues ranging from space, trade, cybersecurity, education, defense, etc.

“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,” the letter says emphasizing the importance of such factors in laying a solid foundation to the 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,” the lawmakers said, emphasizing that a joint address by Modi would “further strengthen the deep and enduring friendship between the United States and India.”



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