After wowing Silicon Valley, Modi set for summit with Obama

New York, Sep 28 (IANS) After wowing the Indian diaspora and winning over Silicon Valley to his cause of Digital India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to have his third summit with President Barack Obama within a year.

The meeting here comes against the backdrop of the rock star reception he received Sunday from the diaspora at San Jose reminiscent of the “Madison Square Garden moment” that preceded his first summit with Obama at the White House last year.

It also comes days after the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in Washington that set the stage for Monday’s summit with a series of accords.

These included a joint declaration recognising the threat posed by Pakistan-based “Lashkar-e-Taiba and other groups operating from safe havens in our region”.

While bilateral economic and defence ties would be high on the agenda, the White House has said climate change will be a key focus for Obama as US looks at India as critical to a successful global effort to combat climate change.

With Chinese President Xi Jinping announcing creation of a so-called cap-and-trade system by the world’s largest polluter to reduce emissions from major industries during his summit with Obama last week, India would be under pressure to move forward on the issue.

“The President’s meeting with Prime Minister Modi will be very important because India, of course, is also another major economy — major emitter,” as Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said in a preview of his UN agenda.

“And we’ll want to continue the discussions that we had in India about what Prime Minister Modi is prepared to do to support successful international action against climate change,” he said last week.

Obama’s meeting with Modi will also “give the two leaders an opportunity to build on the discussions they had earlier this year during the President’s historic trip to India,” he said.

“We are deeply committed to strengthening the US-Indian relationship, building our economic and commercial ties, advancing our political and security cooperation in Asia and around the world,” Rhodes said.

“Notably, India will be critical to a successful global effort to combat climate change, so the two leaders will certainly address their shared vision of how to approach the upcoming meetings in Paris,” he said.

A UN conference on climate change in Paris in December aims to reach an accord that commits every country to curbing their emissions.

Modi on his part is expected to yet again focus on terrorism as he told the rapturous crowd in San Jose that terrorism and climate change are the main challenges facing the world and asked all nations to unite in facing the twin threats.

“The world has to realise that terrorism can hit anyone at anyplace, and it is the world’s responsibility to recognize it and unite against terrorism,” he said

“Terrorism is terrorism, there can be no differentiation between good and bad terror,” Modi said vowing to raise the issue in all international fora.

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