Trump Calls Modi 'True Friend' as US, India Approach Talks

The US administration also complained that PM Modi's "Make in India" platform was protectionist.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Economic Forum earlier this month.

With Trump asking allies to shoulder more military costs, Brookings' Jaishankar suggests Modi could signal New Delhi "is willing to play a bigger security burden in its neighborhood and the Indian Ocean and is not dependent on USA security guarantees". Members of the Indian community urged Modi to raise the contentious H-1B visa issue besides defence cooperation and terrorism during his first bilateral meeting with Trump. I hope Modi brings it up in his meeting with Trump.

The Indians waiting there were heard chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Modi- Modi." to greet the Prime Minister. President Trump has tweeted that PM Modi is a "true friend" with whom he has "important strategic issues to discuss". Before this, Trump has hosted dinners for Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at the Mar-a-Lago golf estate in Florida, but this is the first such dinner at the White House.

"When they sit across the table and they have a one on one discussion or they have an extended delegation that will talk, I would presume that they would cover the wide gamut of relations between India and the US", Sarna had said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday recalled the Emergency imposed on the country 42 years ago on June 25, and said it was the darkest time in the history of India.

While progress is expected in defense trade and cooperation, Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" platform has been irritated by the growing United States trade deficit with India and has called for reform of the H-1B visa system that has benefited Indian tech firms.

During the meeting, the world leaders are expected to discuss ongoing cooperation, including counter-terrorism and defence partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, and trade and law enforcement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said.

"President Trump realises that India is a force for good and that will come through in the visit on Monday", a senior official said. "Only through concrete actions that remove actual barriers to trade and investment can the U.S. -India economic relationship flourish", according to a letter to Trump signed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, the ranking Democrat on the committee Richard Neal, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and the panel's top Democrat Ron Wyden.

  • Leroy Wright