India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to make his first White House visit Monday after a whirlwind day, during which the head of the world’s largest democracy met with business leaders and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party overwhelmingly swept India’s national elections in May, is in the U.S. to forge better business and diplomatic ties during his five-day trip.
Modi met earlier Monday with a dozen American CEOs for a breakfast, including a private meeting with Boeing’s James McNerney. Chicago-based Boeing wants to expand its reach in India. The company had an agreement with New Delhi for 10 military airlifters, representing the country’s largest defense contract with a U.S. firm, according to the Economic Times. Modi also met privately with the heads of Goldman Sachs, IBM, General Electric, BlackRock and KKR.
The Indian prime minister also met with the Clintons for 45 minutes in New York, according to India Today. Bill and Hillary commended Modi's efforts to clean up the Ganges River, according to tweets from Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s external affairs ministry. The river is one of the most heavily polluted waterways in the world.
Modi made a stop at the Council on Foreign Relations, where the prime minister spoke on terrorism, how his party won India’s elections by running on good governance and economic development and other issues, according to NDTV.
From New York, Modi was to fly to Washington, D.C., where President Barack Obama was scheduled to hold a private dinner for the Indian prime minister at the White House. Modi won’t be eating, though, with the meal being called a “working dinner” by the White House since the prime minister is fasting in accordance with the Hindu festival of Navratri.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest gave a glimpse of what Obama and Modi are expected to discuss at the dinner.
“I can tell you that the visit is an opportunity to discuss a range of issues of mutual interest in order to expand and deepen the U.S.-India strategy partnership,” Earnest told reporters on Friday, according to a White House transcript. “It is a partnership that is highly valued by this country and by this White House. We will discuss ways to accelerate economic growth, bolster security cooperation, and collaborate in activities that bring long-term benefits to both countries and the world. We’ll focus on regional issues, including current developments in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, where India and the United States can work together with partners toward a positive outcome.”