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Expectations from PM’s visit to US
In the year 2005, newly elected current Indian Prime Minister (PM) and then Gujarat Chief Minister was denied a visa to the US under a 1998 law barring entry to foreigners who have committed "particularly severe violations of religious freedom" over his alleged complacency in controlling the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.
Though after becoming PM, Narendra Modi became eligible for an A1 visa but the US started cajoling Modi even before winning the election. The US government invited him to visit the US and he too accepted the invite to visit Washington. During the last week of September, Indian PM will be in the US to attend United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) following which he will have bilateral meeting with the US President Barack Obama. Indian PM has not led his personal feelings affect the Indo-US relations.
US administration is gearing up to give a red carpet welcome to Prime Minister Modi when he arrives in Washington on September 29, 2014. And at New York where he would attend the annual General Assembly session of the United Nations.
Modi and Obama are expected to take the Indo-Us strategic relationship to the new level and are likely to discuss over a range of issues of mutual interest in order to expand and deepen the US-India strategic partnership including strategic ties, co-operation in the field of space, counter-terrorism and economic and trade ties.
As far as strategic ties are concerned, a strong and prosperous India is in the best interest of the United States as India can act as balancing force against China so as to maintain the regional balance in Asia. Their meet would also focus on regional issues, including current developments in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, where India and the United States can work together with partners towards a positive outcome. US may also ask India for its help in tackling the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) menace in Iraq and Syria.
In the field of space research, the progress made by India is exemplary and it is likely to the first Asian country to successfully implement the Mars Mission and probably the first country in the world to do so in its maiden attempt. Earlier also, during the Chandrayan I mission, Indian spacecraft carried the payloads of US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In future, more cooperation in the field of space research is in the interest of both the nations.
India and the United States, both have felt the scourge of terrorism. Terrorism is the gravest threat endangering the world peace and security. Some agreement over the enhanced cooperation is on the cards.
Additionally, this visit likely to give a new vigor to the defense ties between the two estranged democracies. Recently, many US pharma companies seemed to be pissed off over the Indian patent laws. A brief discussion on the patent laws in India may also find place during the talks.
With economic development his key priority, Modi is expected to interact with the American business community in both New York and Washington DC. This interaction must be viewed in the light of Modi’s ‘Make In India’ campaign. . He has also accepted an invitation from the US government to visit Washington. There he is expected to reach out to several CEOs and corporate leaders throughout the world in grand sales pitch inviting them to come here and manufacture things.
The enhanced cooperation of both the countries will benefit two largest democracies of the world. India at this stage of economic development needs to build close relations with the US, which is probably the number one country in higher education and innovation. The US on its part also cannot ignore India as Obama has hailed India as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, one which will be vital to US strategic interests in Asia-Pacific and across the globe”.