Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here early today to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit where world leaders from over 50 countries are expected to share their assessment of the threat from nuclear weapons and materials.
During his two-day stay in Washington, Modi is scheduled to interact with a number of world leaders including the host President Barack Obama. Attending the Nuclear Security Summit for the first time, Modi is expected to lay out his vision of securing nuclear weapons.
While the details of his schedule in Washington have not been released yet, the Prime Minister is expected to hold a series of meetings throughout the day, which range from bilaterals with heads of state to community leaders, to scientists and top executives from the corporate world.
Modi is scheduled to hold a meeting with John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand later today and meet with scientists from Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).
Even as he has no public engagement with the Indian American community, which has been a trademark of his overseas trips, a large number of Indian Americans from in and around Washington said they would be standing outside his hotel, despite tight security, to get a glimpse of Modi.
The official summit engagement of the Prime Minister would begin in the evening when he would drive down to the White House to attend a dinner hosted by Obama in honour of the world leaders attending the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.
No Modi-Obama bilateral meeting has been announced yet from either side, but the two leaders are expected to get multiple opportunities for interaction and talks over the next two days.
"The summit would deliberate on the crucial issue of threat to nuclear security caused by nuclear terrorism. Leaders would discuss ways and measure through which to strengthen the global nuclear security architecture, especially to ensure that non-state actors do not get access to nuclear material," Modi had said in a statement before leaving on the current three-nation tour of Belgium, the US and Saudi Arabia.
Joint Secretary (Disarmament & International Security Affairs) Amandeep Singh Gill said during the summit India's written National Progress Report would be circulated at the summit.
The Prime Minister would intervene in this discussion on national actions to underline some of the important measures we have taken to strengthen nuclear security. "India expects that the summit would contribute further to raising high level awareness of the threat of nuclear terrorism and the need to strengthen international cooperation against terrorists and nuclear traffickers," Gill said.
"We also expect that the summit would help bolster legal, institutional and enforcement measures to strengthen the security of nuclear material, radioactive sources, associated facilities and technologies," he said.
This is Modi's third visit to the US and second to Washington since becoming Prime Minister in 2014.
In September 2014, Modi visited US and had a meeting with Obama at the White House. He made his second trip to the US a year later which took him to New York and Silicon Valley.