Indian Prime Minister Modi to meet with Trump in Washington

Yogi Adityanath

Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India, will be meeting President Donald Trump at the #White House on June 26.

Apart from ways to enhance trade and business cooperation, the two leaders are also expected to discuss defence ties.

The June 26 meeting will be the first between the leaders of the world's two largest democracies, home to 1.6 billion people.

"The president and the prime minister have had a number of positive phone conversations, and expect to further that discussion. whether it's economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism, expanding our cooperation as major defence partners", Spicer said in response to a question.

On Monday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement: "This will be the first meeting between the two leaders".

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Commenting on the US H-1B visa issue that has New Delhi anxious over the fallout for Indian professionals, India had recently said it is "not an immigration issue", but "a trade and services issue".

Strongly rejecting Trump's contention, India had asserted it signed the Paris agreement not under duress or for lure of money but due to its commitment to protect environment.

While the details of Trump's plans to host Modi have not yet emerged, the White House visit stands in contrast to the feting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's personal retreat, Mar-a-Lago in Florida in a more relaxed atmosphere. In April this year, President Trump signed an executive order that introduced changes to the H-1B visas. With the U.S. looking inward, New Delhi must step up to play a leadership role in addressing one of the most pressing challenges facing the world.

Trump's review of a visa programme under which thousands of skilled Indian workers go to the United States is also a top concern for India. With the State Department visibly constrained under the Trump administration, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson showing no particular interest in the region, New Delhi's main interface has been National Security Adviser HR McMaster, whose equation with President Trump seems uncertain (which is also true of nearly all senior administration officials).

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