The United Stated is all set to roll out its red carpet for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is traveling to the beautiful country to meet the President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday. This would be Trump’s first evening meal with a visiting head of State in the White House since he took office in January 2017.
Both the leaders will be meeting for the first time on Monday afternoon and the evening would be dedicated to different formats of the Indo-US engagement. Defence is what gets the top billing during the one-on-one talk between Modi and Trump. Here’s a sample of the statement at the White House background briefing: “Defence trade has supported thousands of American jobs. Since 2008 in fact, India has signed over $15 billion in defence contracts with the US.”
This talk highlights the willingness of an Indian to buy military equipment from the Trump administration. While India is not a formal ally of the US, the background briefing underlined that Washington treats India “on par with our allies”.
“The US is very much interested in facilitating India’s defence modernization and is helping enhance its role in the Asia-Pacific. We believe that a strong India is good for the US. Now of course we’ve seen rapid progress in defence and security partnership over the last few years and president Trump very much wants to build on that momentum. Last year’s designation of India as a major defence partner was extremely important and we’ll see a concrete expression of this important designation during this visit,” said a White House official, who has worked extremely closely in India and South Asia for years.
On the H1B visa issue, both the parties have not come up with a plan as of now. The officials said that nothing has been changed with respect to issuance and application procedure. So now we all have to wait till Monday to see where the meeting heads toward.