Narendra Modi US visit: The business end of PM Modi’s trip started today and on the agenda is a meet with Donald Trump at the White House that will include a face-to-face meet, dinner and a joint declaration. He will be greeted at the White House by First Lady Melanie Trump and the president. On day 1 in Washington DC, PM Modi had met 21 top US Inc CEOs and thereafter addressed a 600-strong Indian diaspora. The issues that are likely to figure today would be defence, US H1B visa, weapons supply, China, Pakistan policies and more. Considering the critical importance of this meet between two powerful men who are looking to redefine the way their respective nations interact with the world, the eyes of the world would be upon them. Not surprisingly the reactions have already started coming even as the actual meeting between the two leaders is still hours away.
Among the first to react has been Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan envoy to the US, who said, “I think President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will probably lay foundations of a much stronger India and US partnership.” Pakistan is watching the situation keenly as a budding bromance between the two leaders may end up constricting the supply of funds and arms to Pakistan and also its links with terrorist groups.
Eyeing a big setback for Pakistan and its linkages with terrorists, Haqqani said, “I think the US has come to terms with the reality that Pakistan’s and America’s policies, especially in relation to terrorist groups, don’t coincide.”
Today PM Modi has met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and they discussed ways to boost Indo-US strategic ties. A short time earlier, US Defence Secretary James Mattis had also called on PM Modi. Just weeks ahead of PM’s visit the US, Tillerson had met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and said that the trip would strengthen the Indo-US relationship and help advance the common interest in fighting terrorism and promoting economic growth.
A State Department spokesperson said, “The Secretary noted the Prime Minister’s visit will strengthen ties between the United States and India and advance our common interest in fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”