Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a joint session of the US Congress on June 22 during his official state visit to the country and will share his vision of India's future and speak on the global challenges facing the two countries, top congressional leaders announced on Friday.
President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Modi for an official state visit to the US, which will include a state dinner, on June 22.
"On behalf of the bipartisan leadership of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, it is our honour to invite you (Prime Minister Modi) to address a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, June 22," the congressional leaders said in a statement.
The statement was signed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
This will be the second time that Modi will be addressing a joint meeting of the US Congress.
He addressed the US Congress during his visit to the US in June 2016.
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and South African President Nelson Mandela are some of the world leaders to be accorded this rare honour on two occasions.
"Based on our shared values and commitment to global peace and prosperity, the partnership between our two countries continues to grow. During your address, you will have the opportunity to share your vision for India's future and speak to the global challenges our countries both face,” the congressional leaders said in their statement.
Modi, during his address in 2016 spoke on issues ranging from climate change to terrorism, defence and security cooperation to trade and economic relationship between India and the US.
Modi was the fifth Indian prime minister to address a joint session of the US Congress seven years ago.
Others included Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985).
”Your historic address to a joint meeting of the Congress seven years ago left a lasting impact and greatly deepened the friendship between the US and India," according to the statement.
"As you said in that address: 'Our relationship is primed for a momentous future. The constraints of the past are behind us and foundations of the future are firmly in place.' We look forward to paving the way for greater collaboration between our countries in the years to come,” it said.
”Once again, we would be honoured to have you join us for a Joint Meeting of Congress to celebrate the enduring friendship between the US and India. We look forward to continuing to work together to build a brighter future for our countries and for the world,” it added.
The tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing the US Congress began with Marquis de Lafayette, a French military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War. He spoke in the House chamber on December 10, 1824.