U.S. set to approve India's purchase of drones before Modi visit

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said Modi's visit to the Usa has "its own significance because it will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to engage with the new leader, with the new President (Donald Trump) after the elections last year" in the United States. These (drones) are very sophisticated guardian drones.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday.

Defence deals, however, are one area where the two countries could make progress because of bipartisan support, an Indian official involved in the preparations for the visit said. India and Pakistan should engage in direct talks and seek a normalization of ties, the official said.

Regional security situation including Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and other global issues are expected to figure prominently during the meeting between the two leaders.

The Indian navy wants the surveillance drones, variants of the Predator drones, to keep watch over the Indian Ocean. This will be the first visit of the Prime Minister since Trump assumed office.

Modi and Trump are scheduled to meet at the White House on Monday.

The Indian embassy and the US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The visit is aimed at strengthening the ties between India and U.S. The PM's last stop will be Netherlands and will seek to boost bilateral ties and deepen economic cooperation.

Other strains have emerged in U.S. -India relations, with the United States vexed by a growing bilateral trade deficit and Trump accusing New Delhi of negotiating unscrupulously at the Paris climate talks to walk away with billions in aid.

  • Zachary Reyes