Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the US, has visited more countries and flew more air miles than American President Barack Obama in the first two years of their tenures, according to their flight logs.
In the past two years since he rode to power, Modi visited 35 countries and interacted with two-thirds of the world’s leaders reinvigorating India’s diplomatic relations.
Obama, on the other hand, toured only 25 countries between January 2009 to January 2011. Modi flew 1,64,187 air miles between May 2014 and May 2016 and Obama flew only 1,56,336 air miles in the first two years as the head of state.
Countries like Japan, France, Germany, Canada, China, South Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, Turkey, Singapore, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia have featured on the travel list of both the world leaders.
A map showing PM Modi’s visits
Out of the 35 countries that Modi visited, 21 are in Asia, making 60% of his visits about strengthening ties with immediate neighbours. Followed by seven countries in Europe, two countries in North America, two countries in Africa, two countries in Oceania, one country in South America.
A map showing US president Obama’s visits
Out of the 25 countries that Obama visited, 11 are in Europe, making the continent his primary focus in the first two years. Followed by nine countries in Asia, three countries in North America and two countries in Africa.
Modi visited France, Nepal, Russia, Singapore twice and the United States three times during the first two years of his tenure.
Obama visited Afghanistan, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Mexico twice in his first two years in office.
Modi said he will cut down his foreign visits in 2016, travelling abroad only when it is absolutely necessary so that he can devote more time to issues of domestic importance.
He asked the external affairs ministry to keep his foreign engagements to the minimum and his travel plans, as of now, is restricted to a couple of visits abroad in the first half of the year and international summits in the latter.
His frequent tours abroad have drawn ridicule from the Opposition that accuses him of ignoring domestic issues.
Source : PMO website, White House official website