NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the United States on June 25-26 and meet President Donald Trump, according to an official statement issued on Monday. This will be Modi’s first bilateral visit to the US after Trump assumed office on January 20. The statement added that the Prime Minister was visiting the country on the invitation of President Trump.
Announcing the visit, the External Affairs Ministry said Modi-Trump discussions would provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement between the countries. The visit is being considered as strategically significant in view of Trump’s push for stricter H1B visa norms, which has had a major impact on India, a key beneficiary of the programme.
Trump, while pulling out of the Paris Treaty on climate change, had also accused India and other developing nations of trying to extract billions of dollars in foreign aid from the US and other developed nations to sign up for the climate accord. Security issues like Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and regional security are also likely to be discussed prominently during the meeting between the two leaders.
“The Prime Minister will hold official talks with President Trump on June 26. 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,” the ministry said.
US Defence Secretary James Mattis has made it clear his country recognises India “as a major defence partner partly out of respect for New Delhi’s indispensable role in maintaining stability in the Indian Ocean region”. The US is exploring new ways to address new challenges as well from maritime security to the growing threat posed by the spread of terrorism in Southeast Asia, Mattis had said.
PM’s history of good ties shared with Obama’s US
PM Modi last visited the US in June last year on the invitation of then President Barack Obama. Ties between the two nations flourished under the Obama administration, which saw India as a partner to balance China’s growing clout in Asia. Modi travelled to Washington three times and Obama made a historic trip to India as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2015