Trump to welcome India's prime minister to White House

Ivan Schwartz
June 26, 2017

Saying that Indians in America have not just helped India progress but also the US, Modi said that success and action of the Indian diaspora is still echoing in the world.

And in a move signaling a tougher stance by the Trump administration against Pakistan-based militants, the State Department imposed sanctions Monday on Syed Salahuddin, leader of the main rebel group that fights against Indian control in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Modi's core goals for the meeting, analysts say, are simple: "ensure that India is on the US's radar and that the new USA administration maintains policy continuity with the last one", said Shailesh Kumar of the Eurasia group.

"We also share an interest in ensuring that sea lanes - critical lifelines of trade and energy - remain secure and open to all", Modi said, without referring to the South China Sea by name.

Modi, who arrived in Washington DC on Saturday night at the invitation of the US President, is scheduled to spend more than four hours at the White House.

Later Sunday, at a hotel in Northern Virginia, the prime minister met with almost 1,000 members of the Indian community in America.

"If I'm elected president, the Indian and Hindu community will have a true friend in the White House, that I can guarantee you", he said at an event in Edison, New Jersey, during the 2016 campaign. India's archrival Pakistan would also likely be opposed to the drone sale. Their warm relationship was evident throughout the trip, cemented by a number of public hugs.

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Modi said that India is now receiving record number of foreign direct investment and all credit agencies and multilateral fora are giving a positive rating about India.

As per an official advisory, this 20-minute meeting will be followed by an hour-long delegation-level talks between the two sides from 4.10 5.10 p.m. (EST) (i.e. 1.40 a.m. and 2.40 a.m. IST on Tuesday June 27) in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Modi has close to 31 million followers.

Both Trump and Modi have tried to boost domestic manufacturing in their own country.

The Trump-Modi meeting comes in the backdrop of the United States pulling out of the Paris climate accord and alleging that the deal was not tough on India and China. Counting overseas, Trump has so far met with 47 world leaders. Growth of India presents win-win partnership for India & US both, US companies have a great opportunity to contribute to that. And the United States will raise concerns about intellectual property and reducing tariffs on American goods, the officials added.

"The creative and entrepreneurial energy of our engineers, scientists and researchers, and their free movement between both countries, continue to help India and the U.S. retain their innovation edge and maintain competitiveness in the knowledge economy".

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