President Barack Obama escorts Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sep. 30. [Photo: Press Trust of India]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently in the U.S. on his maiden visit as a state leader. During his trip, Modi was at his diplomatic best, as he aimed to bring a vibrant, clean and business-friendly India to the U.S., and did it with finesse and style. Siliconeer presents glimpses of his trip to the United States.

In an action-packed and eventful maiden visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi projected India as an attractive investment destination, managed to deepen ties with America, addressed the UN General Assembly and enthralled the Indian diaspora.

Keeping in mind the two people U.S. President Barack Obama admired most, Prime Minister Modi personally chose gifts for him which included a Gita by Gandhi in Khadi cover and audio-video clips from the 1959 India visit of Martin Luther King.

In a meeting spread over two hours, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama also agreed to make “joint and concerted efforts” to dismantle safe havens for terror and criminal networks like LeT, JeM, D Company, Al Qaeda and Haqqani network.

The meeting covered a broad range of issues such as cooperation in diverse key sectors like defense, security, energy, economic and space, besides deciding to break the impasse on implementation of civil nuclear deal.

President Obama hosted a private dinner for the visiting Prime Minister, Sep. 29, but the latter only had warm water as he was observing Navaratra fasts since Sep. 25.

During the first leg of his U.S. trip, Modi spent the first few days in New York where he addressed the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sep. 27, and wowed the Indian American community by addressing the diaspora at a packed Madison Square Garden in New York, the next day.

(Above): Glimpses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to U.S. [Photos: Press Trust of India & Press Information Bureau]

Prime Minister Modi also held meetings with top American businessmen including breakfast with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in New York. He also met with top American leaders.

Bill Clinton and wife Hillary, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the top leaders who called on the prime minister. In all, 50 U.S. lawmakers and three Governors including South Carolina’s Nikki Haley met with him.

Modi also visited the 9-11 Memorial in New York and the Gandhi Statue in Washington, D.C. offering his prayers and floral tribute.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama held a summit meeting at the Oval Office in White House, Sep. 30, at the end of which the two leaders promised to take the India-U.S. relationship to new heights.

Concluding his maiden visit to the U.S. as Prime Minister, Modi thanked America for what he said was a highly successful and satisfactory trip to the country.

(Above): GIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech at Central Park in New York, Sep. 27. [Photo: Press Trust of India]

Highlights of the meeting:

Prime Minister Modi asked President Obama to take steps that would ensure easier access to Indian companies in services sector in the U.S. markets.

Pledging to intensify cooperation in counter-terrorism and security, the two countries agreed to step up intelligence sharing.

U.S. will cooperate as knowledge partner for India’s planned National Defense University as well as technology partner in Indian Navy.

U.S. will participate in expansion of India’s infrastructure projects.

U.S. will be the lead partner in developing Allahabad, Ajmer and Vishakapatnam as “Smart Cities.”

The two countries will cooperate in the Mars Mission.

In the economic area, the two countries discussed FDI and portfolio investment and participation in Indian manufacturing sector, in tune with Modi’s “Make in India” campaign.

They also agreed on cooperation between their central banks on regulation of their financial institutions and cross-border banking arrangements.

The U.S. will also participate in India’s endeavor in the renewable energy sector with $1 billion being pledged by the EXIM bank.

The two sides also agreed to set up Water and Sanitation Alliance.


(Above): Glimpses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to U.S. [Photos: Press Trust of India & Press Information Bureau]

Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go

India and the U.S. issued a vision statement “Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go” that called for a joint endeavor for prosperity and peace.

As leaders of two great democratic nations with diverse traditions and faiths, we share a vision for a partnership in which the United States and India work together, not just for the benefit of both our nations, but for the benefit of the world.

We have vastly different histories, but both our founders sought to guarantee freedoms that allow our citizens to determine their own destiny and pursue their personal aspirations. Our strategic partnership rests on our shared mission to provide equal opportunity for our people through democracy and freedom.

The currents of kinship and commerce, scholarship and science tie our countries together. They allow us to rise above differences by maintaining the long-term perspective. Every day, in myriad ways, our cooperation fortifies a relationship that matches the innumerable ties between our peoples, who have produced works of art and music, invented cutting-edge technology, and responded to crises across the globe.

Our strategic partnership is a joint endeavor for prosperity and peace. Through intense consultations, joint exercises, and shared technology, our security cooperation will make the region and the world safe and secure. Together, we will combat terrorist threats and keep our homelands and citizens safe from attacks, while we respond expeditiously to humanitarian disasters and crises. We will prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and remain committed to reducing the salience of nuclear weapons, while promoting universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.

We will support an open and inclusive rules-based global order, in which India assumes greater multilateral responsibility, including in a reformed United Nations Security Council.  At the United Nations and beyond, our close coordination will lead to a more secure and just world.

(Above): Glimpses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to U.S. [Photos: Press Trust of India & Press Information Bureau]

Climate change threatens both our countries, and we will join together to mitigate its impact and adapt to our changing environment.  We will address the consequences of unchecked pollution through cooperation by our governments, science and academic communities. We will partner to ensure that both countries have affordable, clean, reliable, and diverse sources of energy, including through our efforts to bring American-origin nuclear power technologies to India.

We will ensure that economic growth in both countries brings better livelihoods and welfare for all of our people. Our citizens value education as a means to a better life, and our exchange of skills and knowledge will propel our countries forward. Even the poorest will share in the opportunities in both our countries.

Joint research and collaboration in every aspect—ranging from particles of creation to outer space — will produce boundless innovation and high technology collaboration that changes our lives.  Open markets, fair and transparent practices will allow trade in goods and services to flourish.

Our people will be healthier as we jointly counter infectious diseases, eliminate maternal and child deaths, and work to eradicate poverty for all. And they will be safer as we ensure the fullest empowerment of women in a secure environment.

The United States and India commit to expand and deepen our strategic partnership in order to harness the inherent potential of our two democracies and the burgeoning ties between our people, economies, and businesses. Together we seek a reliable and enduring friendship that bolsters security and stability, contributes to the global economy, and advances peace and prosperity for our citizens and throughout the world.

We have a vision that the United States and India will have a transformative relationship as trusted partners in the 21st century.  Our partnership will be a model for the rest of the world.

— Vision Statement for the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership, The White House.