The much anticipated first bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is not a policy summit but a “start” of a “great friendship” between the two leaders, a top Indian- American Republican supporter said today. Shalabh Kumar, founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), said the meeting will be a platform for the two leaders to get to know each other and set the pace for strengthening Indo-US ties. “The bilateral meeting is the start of a great friendship, it’s really not meant for any policy implementation,” Kumar told PTI here as he arrived in the Virginia suburb for the community event to be addressed by Modi.
About 700 members of the Indian diaspora arrived here, dressed in their cultural finery to hear Modi. “This is not a policy summit. This is a feel good meeting between the two leaders to get to know each other and establish the relationship. Both leaders are on the same page,” Kumar said.
He noted that in the RHC rally held in New Jersey in October last year, the then presidential candidate Trump had declared that India and the US will be best friends and this meeting is “just the start of that.” Terming the future of Indo-US relations as “phenomenal”, Kumar expressed confidence that bilateral trade between the two nations will reach four trillion dollars in the years to come, “much bigger than the US trade with Saudi Arabia.” “India is a strong player in Asia and in establishing peace and security in the region,” Kumar said. Modi arrived in the US capital today for his three-day visit during which he will also interact with members of the Indian diaspora at a relatively low-key community event.