Modi-Trump meet: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet and hold first official discussions with US President Donald Trump on June 26, according to Ministry of External Affairs, India. This will be PM Modi’s first visit to the US after the inauguration of Trump administration in the US early this year. Modi-Trump meeting is coming up at a time when global politics appears to be in a flux, particularly because of Trump administration’s policies.
PM Modi will arrive in Washington DC on June 25. India’s external affairs ministry on Monday said Modi-Trump talks will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement. “Prime Minister will hold official talks with President Trump on June 26. Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of mutual interest and consolidation of multi-dimensional strategic partnership between India and the US,” the ministry said.
On June 2, Trump jolted the world by pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord of 2015. In a speech, Trump said, “The United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.” Not only this, Trump also launched a tirade against India, claiming New Delhi receives “billions” of dollars in return for signing the Paris deal. “India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” said Trump.
Trump’s surprise attack on India over Paris Accord came on the back of the changes made to the US’ H1B Visa policy which has threatened Indian companies as well as Indian techies working in the US, or aspiring to go there. As PM Modi visits the US for a one-on-one talk with the US President, the Indian Prime Minister should talk about at least five issues to bring more clarity to the India-US relationship, which appeared to have touched a new high during ex-President Barack Obama’s rule.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said, “[President Trump] looks forward to discussing the ways to strengthen our ties between US and India and advancing our common priorities, fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”
He added, “The two leaders will look to outline a common vision for the US-India partnership that’s worthy of India’s 1.6 billion citizens,” he said.
Trump-Modi meet: Here are top five issues PM Narendra Modi is expected to discuss with President Donald Trump
Terrorism and Pakistan
India is battling Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Trump has vowed to rid the world of “Islamic terrorism”. But when it comes to Pakistan and its open terror credentials, the US policy is not yet clear. The US has been an ally of Pakistan for decades but considering the terror threats facing the world, it is time for the US to make its stand clear on the issue, especially its role vis-a-vis terror-sponsor Pakistan.
Racial attacks on Indians in the US
Several Indians have been attacked in the US in the last few months after Trump administration came to power. PM Modi is expected to discuss with President Trump about the safety and security of Indians in the US.
Defence, geo-strategic tie-up
Considering the multilateral nature of the world today, PM Modi is expected to discuss about defence and geo-strategic tie-ups, particularly in Asia, and sign new deals with the US President.
When asked about the issues both leaders will talk about, Spicer on Monday said, “The president and the prime minister have had a number of positive phone conversations, and expect to further that discussion … whether it’s economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism, expanding our cooperation as major defence partners.”
H-1B Visa issue and future of Indian workers in the US
President Trump’s “America first” policy has put a considerable strain on Indian tech companies’ earnings in the US. The Trump administration is also looking to put a cap on the H1-B work visa, there by putting thousands of Indian engineers at risk of losing their jobs. PM Modi is expected to talk about the H-1B Visa issue with President Trump and the future of Indian workers in the US. Both leaders should come up with joint statement in this regard.
Following Trump’s tirade against New Delhi, it is significant for PM Modi to talk about the issue with Trump and sort out differences. PM Modi should also seek a fresh US partnership to boost clean energy projects in India.