Modi-Trump meeting agenda: Terrorism, H-1B, trade and defence
The two leaders have spoken twice on the phone, but this will be their first face to face meeting. Photograph: (Others)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to meet US President Donald Trump in Washington DC later today. The two leaders have spoken twice on the phone, but this will be their first face to face meeting.
Speaking before his departure, Modi had said that the aim of the US visit is to "build a forward looking vision" for the Indo-US bilateral partnership and consolidate the strong relationship between the two countries.
"My USA visit is aimed at deepening ties between our nations. Strong India-USA ties benefit our nations & the world," he had tweeted.
The two leaders are expected to talk about several issues including trade and terrorism. Here’s a brief look at some issues that could come up during the meeting.
India, a big buyer of US arms, was recently named by Washington as a major defence ally. Ahead of Modi’s visit, the US approved the sale of 22 Predator Guardian drones to India, a deal worth close to $2 billion.
Regional security is expected to be high on the agenda for the talks as Washington considers deploying up to 5,000 extra troops in Afghanistan to help local forces fighting the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump looked forward to “advancing our common priorities —fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Although the issue of H-1B visa is not on the agenda, the White House said that if the issue was raised, the US was ready to respond.
"On the (H-1B) visas issue, there are no plans for that to come up specifically," a senior administration official told reporters.
"But if it's raised, I would just note that the administration has signed some executive orders related to work and immigration, and President Trump's executive order on H1-B visas, of course, directs the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security to propose potential reforms to the H1B visa program," the official said.
"One of the agendas of the visit is how to further push and develop economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefit," India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked about the focus of the Modi-Trump meeting.