On June 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first official state visit to Washington DC after nine years at the helm during which time he has routinely made annual trips to the US.
Both White House and India’s ministry of external affairs issued differently worded statements formally announcing the state visit, which is considered the highest expression of friendly bilateral relations between two sovereign nations, typically close allies or partners. It generally includes pomp, ceremony, reception, and a swish state dinner.
In a statement, the Indian government said that Modi will visit the US following an invitation from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. This will be Modi’s sixth visit to the US since taking over as PM in 2014. The two leaders are also expected to meet at the G7 and Quad summit meetings later this month in Hiroshima and Sydney, respectively.
The Indian side said that the two leaders would reflect on their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo Pacific and discuss opportunities to expand and consolidate the Quad engagement.
President Biden, who is keen to upgrade already strong ties with India, has hosted two state dinners during his term - for French President Emmanuel Macron in December 2022 and for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol last month. The last Indian PM to attend a state dinner at the White House was Dr Manmohan Singh in 2009 during the Obama presidency.
“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 White House said in a statement announcing the visit, invoking a personal people-to-people element to the trip.