Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the fifth world leader who would get a phone call from newly sworn-in US President Donald Trump. Both leaders will talk over the phone at 11.30 PM tonight. The talk is expected to take forward the Indo-US friendship which reached a new high because of a visible bonhomie between PM Modi and ex-President Barack Obama.
PM Modi was one of the first world leaders who congratulated Trump after the latter was sworn-in as the 45th US President on January 20. “Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on assuming office as US President. Best wishes in leading USA to greater achievements in the coming years,” Modi tweeted. While highlighting that the “strength” of India-USA strategic partnership lies in both countries’ “shared values and common interests,” Modi said, “Looking forward to working with President @realDonaldTrump to further deepen India-US ties & realise the full potential of our cooperation.”
President Trump also sees India as a friendly country and it reflected during his election campaign as well. India was among the few countries in addition to Israel with whom Trump spoke of strengthening ties if elected to power. “We are going to have a phenomenal future together,” Trump had said at a charity event organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition for the Kashmiri Pandit terror victims and the Bangladeshi Hindu victims in Edison on October 15.
Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on assuming office as US President. Best wishes in leading USA to greater achievements in the coming years.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2017
Looking forward to working with President @realDonaldTrump to further deepen India-US ties & realise the full potential of our cooperation.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2017
Trump had also praised Modi for taking India on fast track growth with series of economic reforms and reforming the bureaucracy, which he said was required in the US too. “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi,” he had said, adding that the Indian leader is very energetic.
Since January 20, Trump has talked to four world leaders — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican Premier Pena Nieto, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Trump’s initial outreach to foreign leaders can also be seen as hints towards his administration’s foreign policy imperatives. Much of it would be known in the coming months.
Here are 10 things we expect both world leaders will talk about today.
President Trump’s ‘America First’ policy has irked the Chinese administration and industry. It expected the new US administration would seek closer ties with India to check China. Hence, both leaders may talk in detail about China.
2. H1B Visa
President Trump’s announcement to bring back jobs to the US has caused a lot of worries in the Indian IT industry, especially about the H1B visa. Both leaders may talk about the issue to allay fears and clear the controversy.
3. Islamic Terrorism
President Trump has vowed to eradicate Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. India is one of the biggest victims of Islamic terrorism. Both leaders would certainly talk about the issue in detail and seek to prepare a joint action plan.
The US has traditionally been Pakistan’s ally and given billions of dollars as aid to the country. However, with Trump’s focus on not wasting the American money and Pakistan’s role in exporting terrorists to India, both leaders may talk about the Pakistan strategy in detail.
5. Afghanistan issue
It is expected that Trump administration would withdraw completely from the volatile Afghanistan. This will make India the only country in South Asia that can help Afghanistan’s fight against terrorism. The leaders, hence, may also talk about the Afghanistan issue
6. New military, weapons deal
Considering the “deal maker” Trump is, the US President and PM Modi may talk about new military and weapons deals. This would be significant as India aims to modernise its military and weapons.
7. ‘Buy American, hire American’ policy
President Trump may also explain to PM Modi about his “buy American, hire American” policy which aims to bring jobs back to the US. The American President may even ask PM Modi to encourage Indian companies to invest and set up plants in the US.
8. Starting a new bilateral dialogue on trade and security
As Trump has hinted his administration’s policies would be radically different front the previous regimes and that he is interested in taking forward business with allies, both leaders today may also talk about starting a first of its kind bilateral dialogue on trade and security
9. India’s NSG bid
PM Modi may also talk about India’s NSG bid and seek the American support.
10. Invitation for one-to-one meeting
PM Modi is known for giving a personal touch to diplomacy with world leaders. He may invite President Trump to India to take forward the ties to a new level.
(With PTI inputs)