A busy schedule awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on Monday as he meets US President Barack Obama, where the two leaders are to firm up security, energy and economic ties.
Modi will address a summit on UN peacekeeping, an initiative of President Obama, and will meet French President Francois Hollande, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Modi-Obama meeting is scheduled at 11am local time on September 28, and increasing security ties and stepping up economic cooperation will be among the focus areas.
Ahead of Modi’s visit here, the Union cabinet had cleared a US$ 2.5 billion-contract to buy military helicopters from the US. Cooperation in the fields of technology and energy, especially renewable — both considered vital for Modi’s flagship projects — will get a boost in the meeting.
Modi is also expected to raise India’s concern over the situation in Afghanistan, besides discussing issues of terrorism and its funding, and other regional and global issues, sources said. India is also concerned about the growth of the militant outfit Islamic State — Modi will discuss this issue with the Emir of Qatar and the French president.
The UN peacekeeping summit will also be an occasion for the Indian PM and his Pakistan counterpart to be in the same room. Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, among others, will also attend the meet.
PM Modi is set to seek a greater say, for countries that send troops, in the decision-making of peacekeeping missions. Over the years, India has sent the maximum number of peacekeepers to various missions — the Indian casualty of 164 is the highest among all countries sending soldiers to these missions.
Modi’s last engagement in New York, as of now, is the meeting with Palestine President.