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PM Modi to meet Obama and other leaders in New York

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would meet US President Barack Obama and top leaders of a dozen other countries during his stay here over the next several days, officials said.

In his meeting with Obama the third bilateral between the two leaders in about an year Modi would discuss bilateral, regional and global issues and the decisions taken by the two governments during the recently concluded inaugural Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in Washington DC.

“They (Modi and Obama) would discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. Economic engagement would certainly be a part of things being discussed,” Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh told reporters here.

“There would be discussion also on the political, bilateral, regional and global issues,” Singh said.

Obama-Modi meeting has been scheduled on September 28, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Indian officials did not disclosed the venue of the Obama-Modi meeting.

A day earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry said President Obama is looking forward to his meeting with the Prime Minister.

The two leaders for the first time met in September last year in the White House. Thereafter Obama travelled to India to attend the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest.

During his six days stay in the United States, Modi would spend most of his time in New York, except for two days sojourn to the Silicon Valley to interact with top CEOs there and address a meeting of Indian-Americans on September 27.

Giving a preview of Modi’s engagements with global leaders, Swarup said the Prime Minister has bilateral meeting with leaders of about dozen heads of state including that of France, Jordan, Bhutan, Mexico, Sweden, Qatar and Palestine.

Modi would be meeting his Japanese counterpart, the German Chancellor and Brazilian President in a G-4 Summit meeting in New York on September.

However, all eyes would be on the Modi-Obama meeting on September 28, which comes close on the heels of the conclusion of the inaugural Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

Singh said the main purpose behind adding commercial aspect to the existing strategic component of the dialogue was that the two countries need to make special effort towards economic engagement.

“When President Obama had visited India in January, the two leaders had declared a goal of taking their bilateral trade to a level of USD 500 billion from the present level of USD 120 billion. So it would be important to see what kind of new opportunities, we can create in the economic sector,”the Indian Ambassador said.

He said this is the reason why one of the important aspects of the Prime Minister’s current US trip is focusing on economics.