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Modi addresses Indian American community at Ronald Reagan Center; announces new Indian consulate in 3 US cities

BY VEENA RAO

Washington, June 24: Prime Minister Modi ended his 4-day state visit to the US by addressing a packed auditorium of Indian Americans who had traveled from across the country at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington DC. The event was hosted by the US-Indian Community Foundation.

Referring to the gathering as a mini-India, Modi credited the Indian-American community for the love and friendship he has received in the US.

He also credited President Biden for taking the US-India partnership to new heights.

“Over the last three days, we have been together continuously. We have had frank discussions over a whole host of issues, and I say this from experience that he is a wise and experienced leader”.

“Biden has personally worked hard at taking the India-US partnership to new heights and I commend him for his partnership,” he said.

He added that the partnership is a joint step towards a better, stronger world.

He said America would share not only technology but also trust.

Praising the Indian-American community for its contributions, Modi said he understood that “your heart is also in India.” He announced that India would soon have a consulate in Seattle and two other US cities.

The US in return would also soon have a consulate in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

Asian Pacific American Council of Georgia president Sudhir Agarwal and his wife Swati Agarwal at the event.

The Prime Minister also announced that H1B visa holders do not have to go outside the country to get their visas renewed.

Modi also announced that the University of Houston would soon introduce Tamil studies. “It’s a matter of pride for us that the world’s oldest language (Tamil) is in India,” he said.

Speaking about India’s progress, Modi said the whole world’s focus is now on India. He credited the progress to the self-confidence of 1.4 billion citizens of the country who now know their direction.

“India’s growth story is being written in its small cities and towns,” he added.

There are close to 5 million people of Indian descent living in the US, according to estimates.

PM Modi left for a one-day visit to Egypt Friday evening.

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