After US CEOs, PM Modi to meet President Trump with modest expectations | india-news | Hindustan Times
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After US CEOs, PM Modi to meet President Trump with modest expectations

All eyes will be on how the leaders — both having highly personalised style — hit it off. They are both nationalists and are known for their unconventional politics, political rhetoric and love for tweets.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 18:45 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Donald Trump has not given out much on how he sees the relationship with India, and how he would place the India-US partnership in the region.
Donald Trump has not given out much on how he sees the relationship with India, and how he would place the India-US partnership in the region.(Agencies)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet US President Donald Trump on Monday. But unlike his four visits to the US so far, this time, the air is rent with modest expectations.

Indian officials termed the visit as leaving it to the leaders to chart a new course. In fact, they wanted their American counterparts to talk it up, which they did when they spoke of Modi getting a red-carpet welcome and being the first foreign leaders to be invited for a dinner at White House since President Trump assumed office.

The broad brush of subjects for talks would focus on the familiar: the ongoing cooperation in a host of areas, including counter-terrorism, defence partnership, common interests in Indo-Pacific region, trade and investment.

All eyes will be on how the leaders — both having highly personalised style — hit it off. They are both nationalists in their own rights and are known for their unconventional politics, political rhetoric and love for tweets.

This is Modi’s fifth visit to the US as Prime Minister. While the highlight of his first visit in 2014 was his rock star-like interaction with the Indian diaspora at Madison Square Garden in New York, in his second visit, he made it very business-like, rocking California.

Modi again visited the US to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in March last year. He then visited the country on the invitation of then-president Barack Obama, and he was among the few leaders Obama wanted to host in the White House before his term ended. The Prime Minister had also addressed a joint sitting of the US Congress.

But this time, things have changed a lot — a new president who hasn’t given out much on how he sees the relationship with India, and how he would place the India-US partnership in the region.

Even addressing the diaspora became a matter of caution as Trump has consistently spoken against immigrants taking away American jobs.

One of the key areas of cooperation, energy, lost much of its sheen after Trump withdrew from the Paris climate deal. The foundation of the India-US ties might be strong. Which way it would flourish under Trump administration is not an easy question to answer. The Modi-Trump meeting could certainly give some vital clues.