Washington DC: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Washington DC on Monday afternoon, began his US visit on a grand note by attending a ceremony for the return of idols to India.
Today morning, Modi held a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama.
The meeting between the two leaders signifies the deepening of the U.S.-India relationship in key areas since the US President’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015.
At this meeting at the Oval office, Obama and Modi discussed progress made on climate change and clean energy partnership, nuclear regime, security and defense cooperation, and economic growth priorities.
The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the process had begun for returning as many as 200 artefacts to India, with 12 having been returned so far.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said that heritage can be a great binding force between nations. He said that for some, the value of these artefacts may be measured in monetary terms, but for us in India, their value is beyond that, because they are part of our culture and heritage.
The Prime Minister also had an interaction with thinktanks which included the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, among others.
Modi also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Arlington Cemetery and at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial. Mr. Jean Pierre Harrison, husband of Astronaut Kalpana Chawla – who perished in the Columbia tragedy – was present. Astronaut Sunita Williams was also among those who were present on the occasion.