US Prez, Jill Biden welcome Modi at White House for State dinner, guests include several big-wigs

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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House for the State dinner on Thursday.

Amongst the US officials who arrived at the White House for the State dinner was the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti.

“It has been wonderful, beyond my wildest dreams. It has grown so strong, this is not just the relationship between two men, or two governments, its really two peoples,” Eric Garcetti told ANI, as he entered the White House for the State dinner.

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also arrived at the White House for the event and said that India and US have a very strong relationship.

“We had a great time with Prime Minister Modi. We have a very strong relationship, PM Modi continues to make that grow and make both nations stronger, he told ANI.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani and wife Nita Ambani were amongst the Indian business tycoons who arrived at the White House for the State dinner.

Furthermore, Indra Nooyi, former Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo also reached the White House for the State dinner.

The guest list does not end here. Several CEOs were also among the invitees to the State dinner. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were in attendance.

Zerodha Co-Founder Nikhil Kamath was also on the guest list, alongside Indian-American filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan to reach the White House for the State dinner.

Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen was also invited.

Prime Minister Modi is currently on his sixth visit and maiden State visit to the US.

A ‘state visit’ holds a special significance as compared to other foreign visits, as this is a formal visit by the head of state to a foreign country at the invitation of the head of state hosting him.

The visit signifies the highest expression of friendly bilateral ties between two sovereign nations. Also, during a State visit, the leader extending the invitation acts as the official host of the visiting head of state through the course of the trip.

PM Modi first visited the US in 2014, on a working visit. This visit was significant as he also delivered his maiden speech at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He visited the US again in 2016, for the Nuclear Security Summit. During this visit, he also met then-US President Barack Obama at the White House and held bilateral talks.

In the same year, PM Modi embarked on another visit to the US. During this visit, he delivered his maiden address at the US Congress and spoke on a range of topics including terrorism, climate change and the strong Indo-US relationship.

In 2017, PM Modi went to the US on a three-day visit. He was hosted by the then President Donald Trump at the White House for a ‘working dinner’. During this visit, Prime Minister Modi also addressed the Indian diaspora at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

His visit in 2019 was one of his most significant, as he addressed the Indian-American community in Houston at an event named ‘Howdy Modi!’ The event was attended by 50,000 people and also addressed by then-President Donald Trump, who later held bilateral talks with PM Modi.

While POTUS (code name for the US president) is hosting his third State guest, it is the largest so far, considering the sheer numbers on the South Lawns of the White House to welcome PM Modi on Thursday.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi was hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for an intimate dinner at the White House. (ANI)

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