Bhutan first stop for PM Narendra Modi, to visit US in September

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Bhutan later this month in his first foreign visit after assuming power and he will hold a Summit meeting with US President Barack Obama in the last week of September.

By Hemant Abhishek | Updated: Jun 06, 2014, 00:27 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Bhutan later this month in his first foreign visit after assuming power and he will hold a Summit meeting with US President Barack Obama in the last week of September.

The invitation for Modi to visit the US came during the congratulatory call to PM by Obama after the Lok Sabha election results were out.

"A date was offered by the US side for the meeting and both the countries are working on it," official sources said.

It is understood that Washington has proposed September 30 as the date for the meeting but the Indian side is looking at clubbing the bilateral meeting with Modi`s visit to the US for the United Nations General Assembly around September 26.

In the meanwhile in his first foreign visit after taking over as the prime minister, Modi will be travelling to Bhutan later this month and will hold talks on key bilateral and regional issues with the leadership of the Himalayan nation, top government sources said.

Sources said that an official team will be leaving for Thimphu on Friday to work out the relevant logistics and do the ground work for PM`s visit.

The visit is set to take place after the ongoing Parliament session ends, possibly in mid June.

Modi’s calendar was worked upon and once his schedule was cleared, the trip was planned.
Of all the countries that had invited him, sources said PM Modi was keen to begin by visiting a neighbouring country. And although Nepal and Pakistan figured high on the list, Bhutan was chosen above all countries.

Nepal would be hosting the SAARC summit later this year, hence Bhutan became the first country on Modi`s tour diary.

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan, had met PM Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House after the latter`s swearing-in recently and invited him to the Himalayan kingdom.

US President Obama on the other hand was among the first foreign leaders to call up Modi and congratulated him on his "emphatic election victory" and said the largest democracy in the world has given a "decisive mandate".

The US President also wished that under Modi`s leadership, India will contribute significantly at the global stage.

Both the leaders had discussed the India-US Strategic Partnership and the prevailing global economic situation.

The call was the first high-level contact between Modi and the US leadership ever since 2005 when the Gujarat chief minister had been denied a US visa due to his alleged complicity in the 2002 riots in the state.

Modi is also likely to travel to Brazil to participate in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in mid July.