Come June 8th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have another feather on his cap—the current Indian PM has been invited to address a joint session of the US Congress and Senate this summer. PM Modi will be only the fifth Indian prime minister to visit the Congress and is the first announced foreign leader to address a joint convening of the House and Senate under Paul Ryan’s speakership. Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress. US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan in a statement said, “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.” The White House is in talks with Indian officials on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the US, a presidential spokesman confirmed.

The India-US friendship has somewhat flourished under Obama’s and Modi’s administration, especially with the US president visiting the country during India’s Republic Day celebrations, and PM Modi visiting US on several occasions. This obviously stands in stark contrast to the times when PM Modi was denied visa to US for his alleged role in the Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002. But since then, President Obama has developed “a strong working relation” with the Indian PM, even complementing the important role that Prime Minister Modi played in Paris in ensuring the successful completion of the Paris climate talks.

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