Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the US and meet President Donald Trump this year. White House shared this information in a statement after President Trump congratulated PM Modi over BJP’s wins in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states of the country.
“President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to congratulate him on the outcome of India’s recent state-level elections. President Trump expressed support for the Prime Minister’s economic reform agenda and emphasized his great respect for the people of India. President Trump also said he looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in Washington later this year,” the statement read.
This was the second time in the last three months when President Trump and PM Modi congratulated each other on their respective victories. Earlier, both leaders had talked after President Trump took oath of the top office in the US.
The telephone diplomacy between the two leaders not only shows they are serious about taking the India-US relationship to a new level but also trying to get comfortable with each other on a personal level. Great tie-ups between two countries become easy when their top leaders share a camaraderie. The world has seen how PM Modi and ex-US President Barack Obama took Indo-US ties to a new level and shared a visible personal bond with each other. It is now a challenge for both PM Modi and President Trump to take the mutual relationship to at least a level ahead than the past.
Political experts believe both Trump and Modi share a similar style of leadership and, hence, they would prove to be natural allies when they meet with each other. However, everything that is speculated is not true. Both leaders share as many similarities as differences. Hence, they are apparently making sincere attempts at not just knowing each other, but also the issues concerning both the nations.
In the last two months, there have been hectic diplomatic engagements between the two countries. For instance, two US delegations, comprising of 27 American lawmakers, visited India on February 20. During their interaction with PM Modi, the latter reminded the US delegation of the contribution of skilled Indian talent in the US economy.
“Prime Minister referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society. He urged developing a reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals,” a PMO release had said. The delegation later visited Hyderabad.
After the return of US delegation, India’s foreign secretary visited the US National Security Advisor H. R McMaster in the first week of March. Both discussed counter-terrorism, bilateral relations and ways to take Indo-US ties forward. Jaishankar also met Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan. They discussed several issues including ways to enhance economic and defence cooperation between the US and India.
Jaishankar’s visit was followed by the meeting of India’s NSA Ajit Doval with US Defence Secretary General (rtd) James Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security General (rtd) John Kelly and National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster. During the meet, both countries not just pledged to deepen defence partnership but also discussed on ways to increase collaboration on “a range of regional security matters including maritime security and counter terrorism.”
With PM Modi’s vision of making a ‘New India and President Trump’s aim to ‘Make America Great Again’, the meeting between two world leaders will be keenly watched across the globle.
(With PTI inputs)