Narendra Modi Invited To Address Joint Meeting Of The US Congress

29/04/2016 10:44 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

WASHINGTON -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on 8 June during his visit, Speaker of the US House of Representative Paul Ryan said yesterday.

"The friendship between the United States and India is a pillar of stability in an important region of the world," Ryan told reporters during his weekly press conference.

"This address presents a special opportunity to hear from the elected leader of the world's most populous democracy on how our two nations can work together to promote our shared values and to increase prosperity. We look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi to the US Capitol on 8 June," he said.

Modi, who was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit when he was here for the nuclear summit, will be the fifth prime minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (19 July, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (14 September, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (18 May, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (13 July, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress.

The tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing Congress began with the Marquis de Lafayette of France, who spoke in the House chamber on 10 December, 1824.

Ronak D Desai, a Fellow at New America and an Affiliate at the Belfer Center's India and South Asia Program at Harvard University, said, "an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress is significant, given past US policy towards Modi during his time as Chief Minister of Gujarat."

Modi's visit is likely to be the last official meeting between the two leaders during President Obama's final year in office.

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