New Delhi: As he embarks on a week-long visit to the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday voiced confidence that his visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader, and also help impart new energy to bilateral ties with the US.
In a statement, Modi said he looks forward to meeting US President Donald Trump in Houston as well as in New York, in a span of a few days.
Both sides will review bilateral relations “in order to bring even more benefits to our two nations and peoples. The US is a vital partner for our national development, with rich possibilities of partnership in education, skills, research, technology and innovation, and an enabler for India in economic growth and national security. Shared values, convergent interests and complementary strengths provide the foundation for natural partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies. Working together, we can contribute to building a more peaceful, stable, secure, sustainable and prosperous world,” said Modi.
This year’s UN General Assembly session, which is the 74th, has the theme “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.
“There are many pressing challenges for the international community – a still fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world, growth and spread of terrorism, climate change and the endemic global challenge of poverty. They require stronger global commitment and concerted multilateral action. I will reiterate our commitment to reformed multilateralism, which is responsive, effective and inclusive, and in which India plays her due role,” said Modi.
Modi is slated to hold around 20 bilateral meetings during his New York visit, including with President Trump. During his UNGA speech he will focus on India’s role towards development and peace and security, with no mention of Article 370 which is an “internal issue”, the Ministry of External Affairs had said on Thursday.
Modi said through his participation in UN events, “I will showcase our success in realising the Sustainable Development Goals. At the Climate Action Summit on September 23, I will highlight India’s robust action to address climate change in line with global goals and our international commitments.
“At the UN event on Universal Health Coverage, similarly, I look forward to sharing on the world stage India’s achievements in providing healthcare for the needy through many initiatives, including the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ programme.
India will also host at the UN an event to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi that will see the participation of several heads of state and government along with the UN Secretary General to “pay our collective tribute to Gandhiji and underscore the significance of his message”.
On his bilateral meetings, the Prime Minister said: “I will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders from other countries and UN entities on the margins of the UNGA. For the first time, India will hold leadership-level interactions with the leaders of the Pacific Island States, and leaders of the CARICOM group on the margins of UNGA. This will take forward our vibrant South-South cooperation and partnership with them.”
On the Houston leg of his visit, Modi said he will interact with CEOs of leading energy companies in the US with the aim to enhance India-US energy partnership. “Energy has emerged as a new area of mutually beneficial cooperation and is fast becoming an important facet of our bilateral relationship.”
On the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston on September 22, Modi said: “I look forward to my meeting with and address to the Indian-American community. Their success in diverse fields, their contribution to the US in various walks of life, their strong bonds with India and their role as a living bridge between our two democracies is a source of pride for us. It is a matter of great honour for the Indian diaspora and pleasure for me that the President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump will grace the occasion with his presence and join me in addressing the community. This would be a maiden appearance of the US President in an Indian community event with me, and marks a new milestone in our outreach to them.”
“While in Houston, I will also have the opportunity to interact with various groups of the Indian-American community and their elected representatives.”
He said the New York leg of the visit will also cover important elements of bilateral relations.
“I look forward to addressing the opening plenary of the Bloomberg Global Business Forum and inviting American business leaders to participate more actively in India’s economic growth and transformation. I am honoured by the decision of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to confer upon me the Global Goalkeepers Goals Award 2019.