Barack Obama
Barack ObamaReuters

United States President Barack Obama extended a formal invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to visit Washington in September, through US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns who forwarded the president's letter.

According to a release by the Press Information Bureau, Obama has reiterated in the letter that he wants to "work closely with the Prime Minister to make India-US relations a defining partnership for the 21st century".

Modi is said to be looking at this partnership as "an important message to the region and beyond," and he is keen on a "result-oriented" visit.

"(The) Prime Minister thanked President Obama for the invitation and looked forward to a result-oriented visit with concrete outcomes that imparts new momentum and energy to India-US strategic partnership," Modi was quoted saying in the PIB release.

The two national leaders had earlier spoken, following Modi's victory in the general elections in May. Modi will fly to the United States in September to attend the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Burns delivered the letter during his meeting with Modi on Friday. He put forth Obama's desire to build stronger economic ties in areas such as next-generation technologies, security cooperation, manufacturing and fighting terrorism among several other aspects. Burns also conveyed Obama's outlook towards bringing security in Asia and to have consultations on Afghanistan.

Modi is said to have pushed for the involvement of youth in promoting cooperation between the two countries through new avenues, according to the release.

Burns had also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss prospects on trade, energy and security cooperation between the governments in New Delhi and Washington.

This will be Modi's first visit to the United States after the showdown by the George Bush government that denied him a visa in the light of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Indo-US ties seem to be see-sawing in the recent past ever since the disastrous diplomatic turn of events over the apprehension of Indian envoy Devyani Khobragade last year.

Even as things looked better between the two countries with Obama extending a congratulatory message to Modi on his new government, the news of the US' National Security Agency having snooped on the Indian government and even on Modi's own Bharatiya Janata Party soured the mood. US Senator John McCain who had visited India earlier this month had called the incident "embarrassing".

However, with India opening 49 percent of its defence sector to FDI, the US is said to be vying for lucrative military deals.