Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is traveling to India beginning Monday at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I was delighted to accept the invite of Prime Minister Modi,” said Gabbard, as reported by The Economic Times and several other publications. “He is a leader whose example and dedication to the people he serves should be an inspiration to elected officials everywhere.”

Gabbard, the first Hindu to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, is expected to meet with senior Indian government and industry representatives during her Dec. 15 to Jan. 3 trip.

“I look forward to investing in efforts that can strengthen the relationship of the world’s largest democracies,” she is reported to have said.

Gabbard and Modi

Rep. Gabbard and Prime Minister Modi, New York City, Sept. 29.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

The news reports, citing a media release, said the visit will focus on issues including “advancing common global interests, including counter-terrorism and military cooperation, harnessing the potential of India’s high skilled work force via H-1B visas and tourism promotion.”

“The potential for my country — the U.S. and India — is extremely bright and I wish to enhance this potential through my visit to India,” she said.

Gabbard, who was re-elected to a second term in November, is scheduled to travel to New Delhi, Goa, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Ahmedabad during her two-week trip.

“We are delighted to have Rep. Gabbard in India to help further strengthen the India-U.S. relationship,” said Kathleen Stephens, U.S. Charge d’Affaires in India.

Gabbard is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

“As a practising Hindu, her visit is also aimed at highlighting the spiritual contributions of India to the world,” according to the media release.

Gabbard met Modi during his visit in late September to New York City, where she gave him her personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita.

The U.S. House is in recess until the new Congress is sworn in in early January.

UPDATED: Gabbard’s office on Monday provided more information on the visit, explaining, “She is traveling at no expense to U.S. taxpayers/U.S. government. All travel and itinerary arrangements have been coordinated and cleared with the State Department and House Ethics.”

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