New Delhi: From an environment of perceived policy paralysis and an anti-India campaign by the influential American corporate sector a year ago, there appears to be a complete mood swing in the US on relations with India ever since Narendra Modi took over the reins.
Modi kicks off his maiden US visit in New York on Friday, addressing the UN General Assembly on Saturday before attending a rally of Indian-Americans. The MEA said Indo-US ties encompassed everything from "the atom to outer space" and that a larger gamut of issues would be discussed in bilateral meetings with the US, including trade, energy, science and technology, defence and maritime security. Officials expressed confidence that there will be "substantive outcomes" from the visit, adding that Mr Modi has moved beyond the visa issue and is "looking ahead".
After the UNGA, where he will address the need for the expansion of the UN Security Council to include India, Mr Modi will travel to Washington, where he will meet President Barack Obama on September 29 and 30, apart from vice-president Joe Biden, defence secretary and the secretary of state. He will also attend a private dinner hosted by Mr Obama in his honour on September 29. Significantly, while he will also meet former President Bill Clinton, there will be no meeting with former President George W. Bush, in whose tenure Mr Modi - then Gujarat chief minister -was denied a US visa.