Indian PM should address Congress: US lawmakers

Indian PM should address Congress: US lawmakers
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

WASHINGTON - US lawmakers were spearheading an effort Friday to get Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited to address a joint session of Congress when he visits the United States in September.

Modi accepted an invitation Friday to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington during the new Indian leader's trip to the UN General Assembly in New York.

Democrat Brad Sherman and Republican Ted Poe, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, are urging congressional leaders to invite Modi to address a joint session of Congress.

"We have an opportunity to build on the US-India strategic partnership to the benefit of both our nations," they wrote in their letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"India is a growing economic power in a strategically important region of the world," they added.

At least 36 lawmakers have signed the letter.

They noted that an Indian prime minister has addressed a joint session of Congress in each of the last three decades, the most recent being Manmohan Singh in 2005.

"The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Modi will allow us to continue that tradition," the House members said.

The last such address by a foreign leader was by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye in May 2013.

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