Modi to begin US visit amid terror alert in New York

Friday, Sep 26, 2014,18:47 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins  his historic visit to the US amid reports of a  suspected terror attack on New York subways.    Rarely has a world leader generated so much euphoria in  the US, getting full-scale attention and respect even after  having been denied visa about a decade ago.
The Prime Minister, who had an overnight stay in the German  industrial city Frankfurt and left for New York this morning,  will address the UN General Assembly here tomorrow.
He will also have talks with US President Barack Obama   on September 30 in Washington where Mr Obama is expected to  seek India’s support against the Islamic terror outfit ISIL.
The New York administration issued a security alert  following a tip-off by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday that he had learned of a plot of attack on New York  and Paris subways by members of the Islamic State group in  Iraq.
In a statement, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George  Venizelos said they were aware of Iraqi Prime Minister’s statements and were in contact with US law enforcement and intelligence community partners.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the  New York City Police Department, remain committed to  protecting this city, he said.
The Prime Minister and Mr Obama are expected to declare  their determination to combat terror in all its forms and manifestations when they meet in Washington on September  29-30 for their maiden talks.    There are indications that Mr Obama might also seek Mr  Modi’s support in his administration’s effort to create  a global coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and  the Levant (ISIL) which is in control of key areas in  strife-torn Iraq.
According to the programme schedule of Mr Modi, he will  arrive in Washington after completing his engagements in  New York on Monday afternoon.
From the Andrews Air Force Base, Mr Modi will drive  straight to Blair House, becoming the first Indian Prime  Minister in over a decade to stay at the US President’s  guest house.    Mr Modi is scheduled to meet Mr Obama at the White  House the same evening over a private dinner and the  next morning at the Oval Office for the official  meeting.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the entire  gamut of bilateral relations as also global developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.    In his statement yesterday ahead of his US visit,  Mr Modi said he looked forward to meeting Mr Obama,  describing the American leader’s life’s journey as a  remarkable testimony to the rights and opportunities  that democracies provide, and an inspiration for people  around the world.
He said the US was a vital partner for India’s  national development, drawing especially on the rich  possibilities of partnership in education, skills,  research, technology and innovation — and, above all,  a shared commitment to human values.