New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the United States on late afternoon of September 21 and stay there till the forenoon of September 27. Gokhale noted that the two cities that are on the prime minister’s itinerary are Houston in Texas and in New York.
Notably, the Prime Minister is scheduled to address a 50,000-strong Indian diaspora in US on September 22. Foreign minister Gokhale noted that US President Donald Trump will be present during PM Modi’s address at the mega Houston rally.
Elaborating on the prime minister’s schedule, Gokhale said that on September 24, an event titled ‘Leadership matters: Relevance of Gandhi in contemporary times’ will be organised to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in the UN.
Expressing delight, foreign minister Gokhale stated President of the Republic of Korea, the prime ministers of Singapore, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Jamaica and the UN Secretary-General are some of the leaders who would join Prime Minister Modi’s special address.
As mentioned by Vijay Gokhale, here are the three significant launches that will take place during PM Modi’s visit to US:
1) Gandhi solar park:
Solar panels will be installed on the roof top of UN Headquarters in New York with the help of a $ US 1 million grant that India has given to promote renewable energy. Named as Gandhi solar park, this installation is a display of India’s commitment to using solar energy.
2) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s ‘Global Goalkeeper’s Award’:
Every year, a world leader receives the ‘Global Goalkeeper’s Award’ for achievement in a specific sustainable development goal. Notably, this year, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in the field of sanitation through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme.
3) Generalized System of Preferences (GSP):
GSP is a unilateral decision that countries give to other countries based on certain criteria. “We are a developing country, we meet those criteria. I do not recall our ever stating that we are not interested in Generalized System of Preferences,” stated Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday. He was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “The US unilaterally withdrew that concession from us, we believe that GSP is something which is important for our industry but ultimately it is a matter for the US to take a call on.”
In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27. This is Modi’s first address after taking charge as the Prime Minister for the second term.
Meanwhile, foreign minister Gokhale noted that the Prime Minister, at the moment, intends to have about 20 other leader level bilateral meetings, including the meeting with US President Donald Trump.
The White House has already confirmed US President Donald Trump’s plan to join PM Modi at his Houston event. Soon after the official confirmation, Prime Minister Modi on Monday took to Twitter to express pleasure at the prospect, calling it “the special gesture”.
“The special gesture of President DonaldTrump to join us in Houston highlights the strength of the relationship and recognition of the contribution of the Indian community to American society and economy. #HowdyModi,” PM Modi tweeted.
In another tweet, the Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to welcoming Donald Trump at the event.