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Modi arrives in New York for US state visit to ‘reinforce ties’

New York, June 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the JFK Airport on Tuesday for a state visit to the US that he said will “reinforce our ties”.

Before leaving for the US, Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi said, “I am confident that my visit to the US will reinforce our ties based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom. Together we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges.”

International Yoga Day celebrations at the United Nations on Wednesday will be the highlight of his brief stay in the city.

UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed will join him at the yoga event along with hundreds of diplomats from around the world and UN officials.

Afterwards, he will leave for Washington where a private meeting is scheduled with President Joe Biden ahead of the next day’s ceremonial start to the state visit at the White House with a 21-gun salute.

He is scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress and be honoured at a State Dinner hosted by President Joe Biden.

In the city on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet thought leaders and business magnates.

The list includes Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and the founder of Tesla; Nobel Prize winners molecular biologist Peter Agre and economist Paul Romer; astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson; author and theorist Nicholas Nassim Taleb; investor Ray Dialo, and Chandrika Tandon, a patron of the arts and education and the sister of former Pepsi Chair Indra Nooyi.

He is also to meet Grammy award winner Falguni Shah, the singer better known as Falu Shah.

In his statement previewing the visit, Prime Minister Modi said, “India-US ties are multifaceted, with deepening engagements across sectors.”

The US is India’s largest trading partner and the two countries collaborate closely in science and technology, education, health, defence and security fields, space and artificial intelligence, he said.

“Our two countries are also collaborating to further our shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” he added.

He said, “My discussions with President Biden and other senior US leaders will provide an opportunity to consolidate our bilateral cooperation as well as in plurilateral forums such as G20 (group of industrialised and emerging economies), Quad (the Indo-Pacific-oriented group of India, the US, Japan and Australia) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Forum).”

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