Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends Congressional Reception in Washington DC

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of the US Congress with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden in the House Chamber of the US Capitol. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Washington DC Jun 09, 2016, 06.58 AM (IST)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended Congressional Reception jointly hosted by Foreign Relations Committees and India Caucus in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Addressing the gathering, Modi called for India-US collaboration to solve issues like global warming and climate change.

"Be it global problems like climate change, global warming, poverty or heath concerns, we can together find solutions for the world. We must use our skills, our intelligence, our resources and commit ourselves to move forward. I think my journey this time, my two-day visit to the United States has only reinforced this commitment," said Modi.

Earlier in the day, Modi became the fifth Indian to address the joint session of US Congress.

Modi called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States as he stressed on the importance of warming ties between the two countries.

He dedicated much of the speech to the importance of fighting militancy, thanking Congress for US support after a Pakistan-based military group's rampage in Mumbai killed 166 people in 2008.

He leavened the speech to lawmakers, the first such address by an international leader since Pope Francis' in September, with jokes about Congress' bitter partisan divide and yoga. But Modi used it to make serious points about India's neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan and regional concerns about Chinese expansionism.

In a 45-minute speech interrupted by cheers and at least eight standing ovations, the 65-year-old Indian leader said deeper US-Indian security cooperation should isolate anyone who harbours, supports or sponsors terrorists.

Modi is on the US leg of an international tour. On Tuesday, he met with President Barack Obama at the White House, where the two leaders said India has agreed to work toward joining the Paris Agreement on climate change this year and discussed security and cyber-security issues.

The visit, two years after Modi became prime minister, capped an improving relationship between New Delhi and the United States. Before he was elected, Modi was barred from even entering the country because of concerns about his handling of 2002 riots that killed at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.

After the Congressional reception, Modi left for a day-long visit to Mexico. He will arrive in New Delhi this Friday.