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.
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