Health Care

India's Modi in Washington for 'no frills' Trump meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today heaped praise on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying she and her ministry have set an example of effectively using social media to deliver good governance and help Indians in distress in any corner of the world.

Both New Delhi and Washington have been partners in the fight against global terrorism.

Some commentators have argued that Modi and Trump should have a natural affinity as political outsiders who have risen to power in part by castigating the traditional ruling elite on a nationalist platform.

A senior Indian official voiced hope for "chemistry", while a USA official said the two men had a lot in common, noting that Modi would be the first foreign dignitary to have a working dinner at the White House under the new administration.

Initial signs were upbeat, with President Trump describing Modi as a "true friend!" on Twitter, and the Indian leader posting that he "greatly looked forward" to the one-on-one.

PM Modi "is a very powerful leader and I am sure something very positive on the H1-B visa is going to come out of his meeting with Trump", she said. Modi will be the first foreign dignitary to be hosted at a White House dinner by the Trump government.

Then Trump accused India of seeking to profit from the Paris climate accord as he announced he was pulling out of the deal this month - drawing sharp denials from New Delhi.

Читайте также: Bill Cassidy a target of Senate health care bill's critics

Members of the Indian community in the United States want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the issue of H-1B visas with Donald Trump.

His protectionist instincts, however, are at odds with India's efforts to boost exports and encourage Western manufacturers to "Make In India" - Modi's flagship scheme.

Speaking ahead of the visit, India's Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Sarna, said that Prime Minister Modi and President Trump would discuss crucial issues such as counter-terrorism, security and cyber security. Modi discussed the launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the CEOs and called it a game-changer that could well be a subject of study in USA business schools.

The Indian Prime Minister, who is on a two-day visit to the United States capital, held a roundtable here with 21 top executives of American companies.

Political analyst Ashley Tellis said in an interview with Asian Age that the meeting with Trump would give Modi "an opportunity to take the measure of the man, articulate India's interests, and describe the opportunities those interests provide for the US".

The White House refuses to comment on United States arms sales before Congress has been officially notified, but a senior administration official underscored that "this defense relationship is extremely important for both countries".

Addressing the almost 600 Indian-Americans at a reception organised for him in Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC, he said the Indian Army's surgical strikes against terror training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29 demonstrated that India can defend its sovereignty and ensure its security whenever required.

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