As PM Modi Reaches US, President Trump Calls Him 'A True Friend': 10 Facts

PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will meet at the White House on Monday for their first bilateral meeting.

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This is PM Narendra Modi's first visit to the US after the Trump administration came to power

Washington:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a "true friend" with whom he had "important strategic issues to discuss," US President Donald Trump tweeted today as the PM arrived in Washington DC for their first bilateral meeting on Monday. Thanking him for the "warm personal welcome", PM Modi, replying to President Trump's tweet, said "Greatly look forward to my meeting and discussions with you". Ahead of the much-anticipated meeting, the White House on Saturday said that it was "seeking to roll out the red carpet" for PM Modi, adding that it "will be the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this administration".
Here is your 10-point cheat sheet to this big story:
  1. PM Modi's three-day visit, described by officials as "no frills" - in comparison to the pomp accompanying his 2014 trip - will seek to revitalise ties between the world's two largest democracies that have appeared to drift, in spite of the priority they were afforded under former President Barack Obama.
  2. On Monday afternoon, President Trump will host PM Modi at the White House where the two leaders will spend around five hours together, beginning with a bilateral discussion, delegation-level talks, followed by a reception and a working dinner.
  3. Defence cooperation, boosting economic ties, combating terrorism and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region are among the key issues likely to be discussed between the two leaders.
  4. President Trump's review of the H-1B visa programme, a key concern for India, is not expected to figure in the talks.
  5. Climate change, another point of friction, is expected to be an important part of the discussion; the US has said it will "seek common ground" on the issue. Earlier this month, Donald Trump had accused India of seeking to profit from the Paris climate accord as he announced he was pulling out of the deal this month, drawing a sharp reaction from New Delhi.
  6. After the talks, PM Modi and President Trump will deliver a joint statement along with individual statements. There will be no press meet, "as preferred by both leaders".
  7. A high point of the visit would be the US' approval for supply of 22 unarmed Guardian drones for the Indian Navy that has been held up for years. The over $2 billion drone deal is likely to be held up as evidence that New Delhi is a "major defence partner" of the US, its biggest arms supplier.
  8. Ahead of Monday's meeting, leading US congressmen have written to President Trump to press PM Modi to remove barriers to US trade and investment.
  9. Today, PM Modi is due to meet in Washington DC with about 20 leading American CEOs including Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Walmart's Doug McMillon and Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby.
  10. Later, the PM will drive down less than two miles away to a lunch reception in the DC suburb of Virginia where he will interact with the Indian community. 600 members of the community are likely to attend the event.




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Highlights

1
PM Modi, Trump to hold talks on major areas - defence, terrorism, energy
2
PM is first foreign leader to have working White House dinner with Trump
3
This is PM Modi's first visit to US since President Trump took charge

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