Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister in over a decade to stay at the U.S. President’s guest house — the 190-year-old Blair House — when he travels to Washington on September 29.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the last one to stay at the guest house.
“Built as a private home in 1824, Blair House has played an important role in nearly 190 years of American political, diplomatic and cultural history— from Andrew Jackson’s `Kitchen Cabinet’, to private chats with Abraham Lincoln, to Harry S Truman’s crucial leadership as World War II ended and the Cold War began.
“Now, as then, U.S. Presidents continue to rely on Blair House as a significant foreign policy tool,” as per the official information.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh never stayed in the Blair House and always preferred a hotel during his U.S. visits.
The Blair House is the designated guest house of the U.S. president where all his state guests are traditionally known to have stayed.
Located across from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, Blair House has served as the President’s Guest House since its purchase by the U.S. government in World War II and under the stewardship of the Department of State, it welcomes visiting heads of states and other top dignitaries.
In New York, Mr. Modi, like Dr. Singh, will stay at the New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan when he arrives on September 26 late afternoon.
His first public engagement next day would be a visit to Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Centre which was destroyed in the terror attacks by al-Qaeda in 2001 followed by a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum built in the honour of the victims of 2001 attacks.
Mr. Modi will then proceed towards the United Nations to deliver the speech at the General Assembly, scheduled in the first half of the day.
The Prime Minister will then have a series of bilateral meetings including one with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
In the evening, Mr. Modi is scheduled to visit the Central Park where he will attend Global Citizen festival.