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‘Thank you America’: Modi says before leaving for India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waits for the arrival of leaders of the House to make a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waits for the arrival of leaders of the House to make a statement.  

Winding up his whirlwind five-day U.S. visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “thanked” America for what he said was a highly “successful and satisfactory trip” to the country.

“Thank You America,” Mr. Modi said as he concluded his last official engagement at an event organised by the US Indian Business Council (USIBC) on Tuesday. After that he directly left for the Andrews Air Force Base, from where his Air India One took off for New Delhi.

“My visit has been very successful. From here I am going to airport directly,” Mr. Modi said. On Tuesday Mr. Modi met U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, at the end of which the two leaders issued a joint statement that promised to take the India-U.S. relationship to new heights.

Mr. Modi was seen off at the Andrews Air Force Base by the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. S. Jaishankar and the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal. When he arrived at the Air Force Base a day earlier, he was received by the Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns — both being unusual for a working visit like this.

On Monday evening, Mr. Obama hosted Mr. Modi for a official private working dinner and on Tuesday the two met for nearly two hours at the Oval Office, following which the U.S. President and the Prime Minister together went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Mr. Obama, it is understood, decided to join Mr. Modi on this visit which many analysts said reflected the close bonding the two leaders have established among themselves in such a close time. Later in the day, Mr. Modi was hosted for lunch by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, following which he drove down to the Capitol Hill for a tea hosted in his honour by Joe Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. (Pictured is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's note in the White House visitor's book.)

In the first leg of his five-day U.S. trip, Mr. Modi spent four days in New York, where he addressed the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, and stormed the Indian American community by addressing the diaspora with a packed Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple on September 28.

In New York, Mr. Modi held meetings with a host of top American businessmen including breakfast with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, while top American leaders like Bill and Hillary Clinton, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In all he met more than 50 top U.S. lawmakers and three Governors including South Carolina’s Nikki Haley.

During his trip, Mr. Modi visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York and the Gandhi Statue in Washington D.C.

He held a series of meetings with the Indian diaspora, including the dinner that was hosted in his honour wherein he stood for nearly two hours to get photographed with more than 700 Indian-Americans.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 7:07:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98Thank-you-America%E2%80%99-Modi-says-before-leaving-for-India/article11055018.ece

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