Prime Minister Modi to Visit Washington This Month, White House Comments

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Narendra Modi
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Narendra Modi

WASHINGTON, DC—Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Washington DC on June 25-26, 2017, at the invitation of the President Donald J. Trump, Indian Embassy said in a statement.

Prime Minister will hold official talks with President Trump on June 26. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders.

“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 U.S,” the statement said.

Separately, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement: “The President looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and India and to advance our common priorities: fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The two leaders “will look to outline a common vision for the United States-India partnership that is worthy of their 1.6 billion citizens,” he added.

Modi’s visit will come while Trump is under political stress because of alleged Russian interference in US elections last year and contacts by member of his inner circle with Kremlin-connected figures.

A special prosecutor is looking into the allegations and a Senate committee has been holding hearings.

At the bilateral level, India is wary of Trump’s plans to curb outsourcing and to cut back on visas for professionals that will affect India as Trump pursues his policy of “Buy American, Hire American.”

Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change also opens fissures between India and the US, worsened by Trump’s comments that India signed the pact only because it expected more aid.

However, there are common areas that the two leaders can work on, especially fighting terror and strategic cooperation in Asia, where China emerges as an ambitious power.

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