PM Narendra's Modi's U.S tour

Modi in U.S., Trump calls him ‘true friend’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by Indians, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC, USA.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by Indians, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC, USA.   | Photo Credit: @PIB_India

more-in

PM meets CEOs of Google, Apple and Microsoft

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the U.S. capital for his first meeting with President Donald Trump, scheduled for Monday. The White House has said discussions between the leaders will be broad ranging, covering strategic and commercial issues of bilateral, regional and global significance.

Mr. Trump termed Mr. Modi a “true friend” in a tweet hours ahead of Mr. Modi’s arrival on Saturday evening.

“Look forward to welcoming India’s PM Modi to @White House on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!” the post said.

South Asia policy

Mr. Modi’s visit takes place against the backdrop of an ongoing review of the U.S. policy towards Afghanistan and South Asia and an apparent warmth between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The White House has been keen to dispel the notion that the U.S. ties with India are under strain after Mr. Trump publicly criticised India for trade barriers and wrongly blamed New Delhi for seeking to extract aid from the U.S. under the Paris climate deal.

“It will be wrong to say that this administration is ignoring or not focussing on India. President Trump realises that India is a force for good and that will come through in the visit on Monday,” a White House official said.

CEOs bank on PM

On Sunday morning, Mr. Modi met a group of U.S. CEOs including Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Apple’s Tim Cook, Walmart's Doug McMillon and Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby. “American business leaders see Mr. Modi as a leader who will be there for a long time,” U.S-India Business Council President Mukesh Aghi said ahead of the meeting.

Meanwhile, four Republican lawmakers wrote to Mr. Trump to take up market access issues with Mr. Modi during their meeting.

The U.S. State Department has cleared the sale of 22 unarmed Guardian drones to India ahead of Mr. Modi’s visit. The $ 4 billion deal is a significant demonstration of the enhanced defence ties between the two countries, according to an administration official.

Mr. Modi is staying at the heavily guarded Willard Intercontinental hotel, across the White House.

The White House official who briefed on background emphasised the potential of defence deals to create jobs in America. An announcement of the Guardian drone deal could be made after notifying the U.S. Congress on Monday.

India and the U.S. are also expected to announce new steps in counter-terror cooperation, the White House has said.

California’s Democratic Senator Kamala Harris said in a Twitter post that the visit would “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our two nations."

Meanwhile, four Republican lawmakers wrote to Mr. Trump to take up market access issues with Mr. Modi during their meeting.

“We write to you ahead of the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge you to prioritise the elimination of Indian trade and investment barriers that significantly harm American businesses and workers,” Senators Orrin Hatch, Ron Wyden and Representatives Kevin Brady and Richard Neal wrote.

“While Indian businesses continue to benefit from open U.S. markets, India has failed to eliminate, or even address concretely, multiple trade and investment barriers that have been the focus of recent bilateral and multilateral fora," the letter said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:53:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/modi-arrives-in-the-us-on-the-second-leg-of-his-three-nation-visit/article19144620.ece

Next Story