Donald Trump-Narendra Modi meet: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting US President Donald Trump today. One doesn’t know how the much-anticipated meeting will unfold. But by calling India a “true friend” two days ahead of the meeting, President Trump has raised expectations. India is expected to ink some big defence deals with the US during the meet. This will happen at a time when Trump appears disinterested in decades-old NATO allies.
But then, it will be safe not to speculate much before the meeting. For now, the upcoming meeting has created a lot of buzz in India as well as the US. While Indian media is hopeful that the meeting may mark a beginning of new era of US-India ties, the US media is asking some questions. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Josh Rogin wonders if Modi’s “dalliance with Trump will be a one-night stand or will blossom into a full-on romance.”
Rogin points out that both leaders are alike in many ways — from being most followed world leaders on social media to leading two largest successful democracies of the world. Interestingly, Trump had talked about his fondness for India a month ahead of the US Presidential election last year. “Under a Trump administration…we are going to be best friends …There won’t be any relationship that will be more important to us,” Trump had told the Republican Hindu Coalition.
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Rogin, however, points out that India-US close relationship under Trump is yet to materialise. For Trump still needs to come clear on the US stand on India’s concerns about Chinese expansion in South and Central Asia as on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Trump also needs to outline how his ‘America First Agenda’ will accommodate India’s interest.
The NYT reports the Modi-Trump upcoming meet has generated “high hopes for the relationship between the two leaders.” While talking about the similarities between the two leaders, the NYT points out a contrast. “This week’s meeting could rest mostly on personal rapport. The two men may seem to have a lot in common, but Mr. Modi’s asceticism stands in stark contrast to Mr. Trump’s flamboyant style.”
In an article on CNN.com, Samantha Vinograd, a former member of US National Security Council, has flagged fate of Asia rebalance under Trump as he prepares to meet Modi and South Korean President Moon in Washington. Vingrad has asked two questions: First, Is the Trump administration well-resourced enough to become more deeply engaged with multiple countries in Asia on regional security, economic growth, human rights, and peaceful dispute resolution? Second, do America’s allies and enemies view the United States as a credible partner in executing this strategy?