An eight-member US Congressional delegation headed by House Democratic Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi met with Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi earlier this month. The bipartisan group accompanying Pelosi included Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Judy Chu (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) — the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the delegation and engaged in a roundtable discussion regarding the partnership between India and the United States. The discussion involved topics ranging from combatting terrorism and enhanced security cooperation to climate change and regional human rights issues.
In addition to exchanging views with the delegation on the importance of shared US-India values, Prime Minister Modi expressed support for deeper exchanges with the US Congress. Modi made positive comments reaffirming bilateral relations and recognizing the support coming from Congress. The Prime Minister previously addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress on June 8, 2016 — the fifth Indian Prime Minister to do so.
At New Delhi, the bipartisan group also met with the Minister for Finance and Defense Arun Jaitley and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Outside of government, the delegation also met with members of the India-U.S. Business Council and civil society representatives.
The trip to New Delhi would round out the South Asian leg of the delegation’s high-profile journey: on May 8 the delegation visited Nepal to show Congressional support for the country’s commitment to advancing democracy. On May 9-10, the group visited His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration at Dharamsala. The bipartisan delegation also traveled to Germany and Belgium to discuss the global economy and NATO.
David Lee is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington. He is a Master's Candidate of the Asian Studies program at Georgetown University.