Congressional leaders have invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint meeting of Congress when he visits the United States later this month, marking the second time Modi has been invited to give such a speech.

Modi was invited to address Congress on June 22, in a letter sent this week that was signed by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

“Based on our shared values and commitment to global peace and prosperity, the partnership between our two countries continues to grow,” the congressional leaders wrote. “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.”

Modi’s last visits to the United States were under President Donald Trump. In 2017, Modi notably countered Trump’s famously intense handshakes with several of his signature bear hugs. In 2016, under President Barack Obama, Modi visited the United States and addressed a joint meeting of Congress. In their letter to Modi this week, congressional leaders cited his “historic” address to Congress seven years ago as having left a lasting impact.

“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,’” they wrote. “We look forward to paving the way for greater collaboration between our countries in the years to come.”

Modi, who represents the right-wing Hindu nationalist party in India, has served as prime minister of the country since 2014, winning reelection in 2019. India does not have term limits for its prime ministers, and Modi is gearing up to run for reelection to a third term next year.

Under his tenure, Modi has been criticized for eroding India’s democracy, suppressing criticism against his Bharatiya Janata Party and trying to impose Hindu nationalism across the country. A report by the Human Rights Watch last year warned that Indian states ruled by his right-wing party have seen increased incidents of discrimination and abuse against Muslims, including the illegal bulldozing of Muslim homes and businesses.

Last month, India’s major opposition parties boycotted Modi’s inauguration of a new $120 million Parliament building in New Delhi, accusing him of using the event as a “coronation.”

“When the soul of democracy has been sucked out from the parliament, we find no value in a new building,” the opposition parties said in a joint statement then.

It has become a modern tradition for foreign leaders to address a joint meeting of Congress, if invited, during their formal state visits to the United States. Since President Biden took office, there have been three such addresses — one by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and another by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last year during a surprise visit to Washington.

In April, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol delivered a nearly hour-long speech to a joint meeting of Congress, praising the “synergy” between his country and the United States. The Bidens also took the occasion of Yoon’s visit to host an elaborate state dinner at the White House — where the South Korean leader surprised the crowd by singing one of his favorite songs, “American Pie.”

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Modi addressed a joint meeting of Congress is 2017. It took place in 2016.

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