Modi-Obama meeting; White House outlines agenda


Washington: US President Barack Obama will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday after his address to the UN General Assembly’s inaugural session, giving the two leaders an opportunity to build on the discussions they had in New Delhi in January, the White House has said.

“We are deeply committed to strengthening the US-Indian relationship, building our economic and commercial ties, advancing our political and security cooperation in Asia and around the world,” Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said yesterday.

The meeting would give the two leaders an opportunity to build on the discussions they had in New Delhi in January when Obama traveled to India to attend the Republic Day Parade as its chief guest, he said.

“This will give the two leaders an opportunity to build on the discussions they had earlier this year during the President’s historic trip to India,” Rhodes said.

“Notably, India will be critical to a successful global effort to combat climate change, so the two leaders will certainly address their shared vision of how to approach the upcoming meetings in Paris,” he said, while giving details of the much anticipated Obama-Modi meeting in New York next week.

Modi arrived here on Wednesday night on a six-day official visit during which he would travel to Silicon Valley tomorrow to meet the top IT CEOs of the region and address a meeting of some 18,000 Indian Americans on September 27.

Modi is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with more than a dozen countries including France, Jordan, Bhutan, Mexico, Guyana, Cyprus, Sweden, Qatar and Palestine.

However, there is no meeting scheduled with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Indian officials have said.

On Wednesday, Modi had a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Rhodes said Obama’s engagements at the United Nations would focus majorly on climate change. This includes his meeting with Modi.

“The President’s meeting with Prime Minister Modi will be very important because India, of course, is also another major economy – major emitter and we’ll want to continue the discussions that we had in India about what Prime Minister Modi is prepared to do to support successful international action against climate change,” Rhodes said.

A day earlier, Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh said during the meeting the two leaders would discuss bilateral, regional and global issues.

This is the third one-o-one meeting between the two leaders after Modi came to power in May last year.

“They (Modi and Obama) would discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. Economic engagement would certainly be a part of things being discussed,” Singh had said.
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