Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be able to address a joint session of US Congress during his first visit to Washington in September, Foreign Policy magazine has reported.
According to a report, the move for an invitation for the Indian politician to address the two chambers, viewed as the highest honor Congress can bestow on a foreign head of state, gained broad support in the US Congress over the summer.
However, US House Speaker John Boehner informed Modi in a letter dated July 30 that the “unpredictability of the House schedule” meant that Congress could not invite the prime minister for this address after all. Boehner reportedly left the door open for a future address at an unspecified date.
“I would be very interested in exploring with you the possibility of a visit to the US Capitol and an address to a joint meeting of Congress should your travels bring you back to our country in the months and years ahead,” read the letter, according to the online report of the magazine.
Modi is expected to visit Washington in the last week of September to meet President Barack Obama. But House leadership is contemplating calling an early recess in September ahead of mid-term elections, which would mean lawmakers would be in their districts during Modi’s trip, the report said.
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