US House speaker invites Modi to address Congress

Washington, April 29 (IANS) US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan has invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint meeting of Congress this summer.

Modi will be the fifth Indian prime minister to visit Congress, and is the first announced foreign leader to address a joint convening of the House and Senate under Ryan’s speakership, CNN reported.

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He is set to arrive on June 8.

“The friendship between the US and India is a pillar of stability in an important region of the world,” Ryan said in a statement on Thursday.

“This address presents a special opportunity to hear from the elected leader of the world’s most populous democracy on how our two nations can work together to promote our shared values and to increase prosperity.”

Modi set out on a world tour last year, becoming the first Indian prime minister in many years to visit Pakistan and, as of November, had spent more than 83 days abroad since taking office in May 2014, according to a CNN tally.

It’s a stark reversal from the days when Modi was barred from entering the USover his handling of anti-Muslim riots in 2002 when he was chief minister of the Indian state in which they took place, according to analysts.

But the US has increasingly courted India as a key ally in the region and Modi has forged ties with American leaders.

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