Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his 5 nation tour on 4 June. He arrived in the US today after visiting Switzerland, Qatar And Afghanistan. He will be holding talks with President Barack Obama. In this meet, Modi will review bilateral ties. He will also address a joint session of the US Congress.
Modi arrived in the US after meeting Swiss President and holding talks on India’s NSG membership.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted “Penultimate leg of PM Narendra Modi’s journey begins as he arrives in Washington D.C. on a sunny summer afternoon.”
Modi had said before departing for his five-nation tour that“In my meeting with the President on June 7, we will seek to build upon the progress achieved in providing new vigour and momentum to our strategic partnership in diverse areas.”
PM laid a wreath at the Arlington memorial, where bodies of American soldiers have been laid down. These soldiers sacrificed their lives for their country. He also attended a meeting with heads of American think tanks at Blair House.
Ministry of External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted "Probing the minds of those who shape foreign policy.PM @narendramodi at an interaction with think tanks in Washington.”
Prime Minister's Office also tweeted "After history & culture, it's current & strategic affairs. Think tanks meet PM, share perspective on various issues.”
After meeting at Blair House, Modi attended a ceremony in which the US returned over 200 cultural artefacts to India. The artefacts worth around $100 million.
The Prime Minister said at the ceremony held at the Blair House “For some, these artefacts may be measured in monetary terms but for us this is beyond that. It's a part of our culture and heritage."
The items which were returned included religious statues, bronzes and terra cotta pieces. These artefacts were looted around 2000 years back from some of India's most treasured religious sites.
US Attorney General Loretta E Lynch said: "It is my hope and the hope of the American people that this repatriation will serve as a sign of our great respect for India's culture; our deep admiration for its people; and our sincere appreciation for the ties between our nations.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said "Protecting the cultural heritage of our global community is important work and we are committed to identifying and returning these priceless items to their countries of origin and rightful owners.”
He added, "It's the responsibility of law enforcement worldwide to ensure criminal smuggling organisations do not profit from the theft of these culturally and historically valuable items.”
This is the fourth tome Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting the US.
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By M. Divya Shri