Indian Prime Minister’s visit to the US may carry a far-reaching impact

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to the US on a state visit on June 22 following an invitation from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, the government said in a statement. The US President and the First Lady will also host PM Modi at a state dinner.

Statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the Official State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India:-

“President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India for an Official State Visit to the United States, which will include a state dinner, on June 22, 2023. The upcoming visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together. The visit will strengthen our two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific and our shared resolve to elevate our strategic technology partnership, including in defense, clean energy, and space. The leaders will discuss ways to further expand our educational exchanges and people-to-people ties, as well as our work together to confront common challenges from climate change, to workforce development and health security”.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to the White House next month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to travel to India next week to meet his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, the Pentagon has announced. Austin will visit New Delhi to meet with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders as the United States and India continue to modernize the US-India Major Defense Partnership, the Pentagon said on Thursday, as reported by PTI.

Pentagon also announced the Defense Secretary’s trip to Japan, Singapore, India, and France next week. “This visit provides an opportunity to accelerate new Defense innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and drive ongoing efforts to expand operational cooperation between the US and Indian militaries,” the Pentagon said, as quoted by PTI. Austin will begin his trip from Japan, as part of his seventh official visit to the Indo-Pacific region. In Tokyo, he is set to meet the Japanese Defense Minister Yasukasu Hamada and other senior leaders and he will also visit the US troops stationed in Japan, it said.

The visit also comes as the United States and Japan take important strides to modernize alliance capabilities, optimize US force posture, and build links with like-minded partners following the historic US-Japan “2+2” ministerial meeting earlier this year, the Pentagon said.

As a matter of fact, after the disintegration of the former USSR in 1991, India struggled to establish close relations with the US. It has hired journalists, media houses, politicians, congressmen, senators, and think tanks for lobbying. Gradually, it succeeded to convince the US policymakers. As a result, India and the United States established a multifaceted relationship that has evolved significantly over the years. 

Defense Cooperation

The defense partnership between India and the United States has witnessed substantial growth. Regular high-level defense dialogues, joint military exercises, and defense technology sharing have become integral to the relationship. The signing of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) in 2012 and the foundational agreements, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018, and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020 have further enhanced defense cooperation and interoperability. India has become a major defense partner for the US in this region.

Economic Partnership

The economic dimension of India-US relations has witnessed significant growth, driven by a strong trade and investment relationship. Both countries have fostered a vibrant economic partnership, and bilateral trade has reached new heights. Bilateral investment flows have also surged, with both Indian and American companies exploring opportunities in diverse sectors such as information technology, manufacturing, renewable energy, and healthcare. Initiatives like the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership and the US-India Business Council have played crucial roles in facilitating economic collaboration and opening new avenues for cooperation.

Strategic Collaboration

India and the United States have increasingly recognized the importance of strategic collaboration. The Quad, comprising India, the United States, Australia, and Japan, has emerged as a crucial platform for promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Cooperation on cybersecurity, space exploration, counterterrorism, and public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic has further strengthened strategic ties. The India-US relationship has evolved into a strategic partnership. 

India expects a lot from this visit that includes closer cooperation in trade, economy, investment, transfer of technology, defense, diplomacy, and politics, etc. It desires to join NATO and has been struggling hard for it. It is possible that during this visit there might be some breakthrough, as, joining NATO needs consent from all members, and may be difficult at this stage. But, it is possible to join NATO Plus, which might be the first step in this direction. 

What will be the consequences, if India joins NATO or NATO Plus? Looking at India’s psychic that it has a rivalry with all its neighbors, that is border disputes with China, Kashmir disputes with Pakistan, territorial disputes with Nepal, Trade, Ethnic, and border disputes with Myanmar, Territorial and sovereignty disputes with Bhutan, and Trade. Ethnic, and political disputes with Sri Lanka and Maldives. India is always in a state of war, with either one of its neighbors. If India joins NATO, will NATO deploy its forces in case of war between India and its one of neighbors? Especially, India and China have ethnic, territorial, Border, political, and diplomatic differences, Will NATO send its troops in case of war between China and India?

India’s top priority is the US and the Western World and it is always struggling hard to be closer to them. However, it also keeps its ties with SCO and BRICS that is Russia and China, which is beyond understanding. Either it was to fool Russia and China or playing over-smart to get benefits from all sides? The time has come, when India has to declare its position clearly. Keeping in view the above, his visit is crucial and may have a far-reaching impact on regional and global politics in the near future.

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