Modi wraps up US visit; meets Obama, pushes for UNSC reform
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his five-day US visit, ending with a summit meeting with US President Barack Obama that focused on climate change and gave another push to India’s demand for reform of the UN Security Council at a separate UN summit on Peacekeeping.
Modi’s America visit saw him also travel to the West Coast, visiting San Jose, where he interacted with the leaders of US tech giants.
In a message before leaving for home, Modi said his US visit demonstrates the “extraordinary depth and diversity” of the bilateral relationship and a lot of ground has been covered in his five days stay in the US.
Modi flew down early Monday morning from San Jose. He held bilaterals with British Prime Minister David Cameron and later with French President Francois Hollande.
The India-US summit meeting, that lasted an hour, saw Modi and Obama exchange warm hugs in greeting – in a reiteration of their personal chemistry and the strengthening of bilateral strategic ties.
Obama in his media statement after the talks with Modi, recalled his January visit to India for Republic Day, terming it a wonderful visit.
He said their talks focused much on climate change and the upcoming climate change talks in Paris. He said both sides agreed that it is a crucial issue and all countries have responsibility towards fighting climate change.
Obama said he was “encouraged by the impressive nature of Modi’s commitment to clean energy. And I really think the Indian leadership in the upcoming Paris conference will set the tone not just today but in the decades to come (on climate change)”.
Both sides also discussed trade, investment, defence and education.
Modi, in his statement, said that the US president and he “share an uncompromising commitment on climate change, without affecting our ability to meet the development aspirations of humanity. We have both set ambitious national agendas”.
“As terrorism threats grow, we have resolved to deepen our cooperation,” Modi said.
He also thanked Obama for the US’ support to India for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council and appreciated US’ support for India’s membership of the international export control regimes within a targeted time frame.
Modi said India looks forward to working with the US for India’s early membership of Asian Pacific Economic Community.
In his address at the Leaders’ Summit on UN Peacekeeping, hosted by the US, Modi said India is ready to contribute monetarily to a memorial for slain UN Peacekeepers.
Modi announced new contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Operations.
“These include additional battalion of up to 850 troops in existing or new operations; additional three police units with higher representation of female peacekeepers; commitment to provide critical enablers; deployment of technical personnel in UN missions; and, additional training for peacekeepers at our facilities in India and in the field,” Modi said.
Pushing for long-awaited reforms of the UN Security Council, Modi stressed that the success of UN peacekeeping “ultimately depends not on the weapons that the soldiers carry, but on the moral force that decisions of the UN Security Council command”.
“We must complete the long-pending task of reforms within a fixed time frame of the UN Security Council to preserve the relevance and effectiveness of the UN,” he said.
He also raised the demand of troop contributing countries for greater say in the UN Peacekeeping mandate.
In his final engagements, Modi held bilateral talks with President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
In a series of tweets before emplaning for New Delhi, Modi thanked the American people for their warm welcome and hospitality.