PM Modi, President Trump's First Meeting On June 26: White House

This will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first trip to the US since the Trump administration took over.

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PM Modi, President Trump's First Meeting On June 26: White House

PM Modi and President Trump The two leaders will hold their first bilateral talks on June 26 (File)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. It will be PM Modi's first trip after Trump administration took over
  2. The two leaders will hold their first bilateral talks on June 26
  3. They have spoken over phone at least three times in the past
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will have their first bilateral meeting on June 26 in Washington DC, the government said on Monday. PM Modi travels to the US on June 25 for his first visit since the Trump administration took charge.

"Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of mutual interest and consolidation of multi-dimensional strategic partnership between India and the US," said an official statement. The two leaders have spoken on the phone at least three times.

"I think you can expect the two of them to set forth a vision that will expand the US-India partnership in an ambitious and worthy way of both countries' people," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.

PM Modi's first talks with Mr Trump take place in the shadow of his sharp comments on India while announcing America's withdrawal from the Paris climate deal. India, he said, had made its participation "contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid."

Rejecting the view, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj retorted: "What US President Trump has said is not the reality... India signed the Paris climate pact not because of pressure from any country or due to lure of money. We signed it due to our commitment to protecting the environment...India will continue to be part of it irrespective of whether the US remains in it or not."

Amid the awkwardness, the US State Department last week confirmed that PM Modi would travel to Washington later this month.

"We look forward to having the (Indian) Prime Minister here in Washington..." State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

India-US ties bloomed under the Obama administration, which saw India as a partner to balance China's growing weight in Asia. PM Modi had a record eight meetings with Barack Obama. The Prime Minister traveled to Washington three times and Mr Obama made a historic trip to India as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2015.

But President Trump has focused on building ties with China, seeing it as key to tackling regional problems such as North Korea's nuclear programme.

For India, a top concern is Mr Trump's review of the H1B visa programme under which thousands of skilled Indian workers go to the US.

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