NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said that the H1-B visa squeeze could figure in talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on February 25. “The H1-B visa issue could come up. We have remained engaged in this issue with the government and the US Congress. We do expect that movement of Indian professionals is part of the agenda that could come up for discussions,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
There could be some announcements related to defence and counter-terror, too, during the visit. “We have been on the same page with regard to counter-terror. The US support to us, especially during the post-Pulwama attack phase, has been unprecedented. It also supported us in designating some terrorists who operate out of Pakistan,” he said. Discussions on civil nuclear cooperation and space cooperation would also be held. “Westinghouse and NPCIL are in discussion to build six 1,100 MW reactors at Kovvada, AP. Following resolution of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy issues, the two sides are in discussion regarding the division of responsibility of the work. NPCIL has visited the US reference plant to understand Westinghouse’s modular construction methodology,” Kumar said.
Asked about the Namaste Trump event in Gujarat on February 24, he said: “Such events have been held in the past, but on a smaller scale. This event is being organised by the Donald Trump Nagarik Abhinandan Samiti.” The Congress, however, wondered why Gujarat is spending `120 crore on an event by a private Samiti. “Dear P.M, Intriguing news from @MEAIndia! Pl state Who is the President of Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti? When was the invitation extended to U.S President & accepted? Why is Gujarat Govt then spending `120 Crore for a 3 hour event organized by an unknown Pvt entity?,” Randeep Surjewala said in a series of tweets.
Around five MoUs lined up
India and the US are expected to sign around five pacts on intellectual property rights, trade facilitation and internal securityMEA downplays Trump’s complaint that the US has not been treated very well by India, says it was in the context of balance of trade Don’t want to rush into a trade deal by creating artificial deadlines, says MEA
Hardeep Puri to be Trump’s minister-in-waiting
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri will be the minister-in-waiting for US President Donald Trump’s visit next week. He will accompany the presidential delegation to all of their official engagements in India.