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In the works: Modi-Trump meeting in June

Modi and Trump are anyway expected to meet in early July during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2017 8:27 am
modi, pm modi, narendra modi, modi trump meet, donald trump, modi trump meet, india news, latest news, indian express news HR McMaster, US NSA, met PM Modi in New Delhi Tuesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

United States National Security Advisor H R McMaster met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Tuesday, setting the ball rolling for a bilateral visit by the Prime Minister in the next few months, possibly as early as June. If this happens, it will be his fifth visit to the US in three years. Top sources told The Indian Express that Washington and New Delhi are trying to work out dates, much ahead of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September, widely expected to be Modi’s first bilateral visit to the US after the new administration under President Donald Trump assumed office in January this year.

Sources said the US State Department is not willing to host foreign leaders for bilateral meetings around UNGA, since they have already received more than two dozen “requests” for bilateral meetings with Trump. “The calendar is too crowded in September. The objective is to give due importance to the visit,” a source said.

Both Indian and American government sources confirmed the possibility that Modi may travel to the US for a stand-alone bilateral visit in June or July. Modi and Trump are anyway expected to meet in early July during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Sources said that one tranche of dates has been proposed in early-to-mid June, and the other set of dates is in mid-July.

“McMaster’s meetings with Indian officials, including the Prime Minister, has explored the possibility. This is a follow-up to the Trump-Modi phone call after the inauguration,” a source told The Indian Express. At the meeting with Modi, McMaster reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner and emphasised the importance of its strategic relationship.

“The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defence and counter-terrorism cooperation,” the US embassy in New Delhi said in a statement after the meetings. “NSA McMaster emphasised the importance of the US-India strategic relationship and reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner,” it said, noting that the meetings were “productive”. McMaster, who is the first senior official from the Trump administration to visit India, met NSA Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

“The visit was a part of regional consultations that included stops in Kabul and Islamabad,” the statement said. The Indian side, in its statement, said McMaster “conveyed the greetings” of President Trump to Prime Minister Modi. “Prime Minister recalled his positive telephonic conversations with President Trump that reaffirmed the importance attached by both sides to the strategic partnership and to stepping up India-US engagement across the board,” the Prime Minister’s Office said, in a statement.

McMaster “shared his perspective” with Prime Minister on the security situation in the extended region, including in Afghanistan, West Asia and North Korea. This is perceived to be a reference to Pakistan-based terror groups, ISIS and China’s role in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes. During the conversation, they exchanged views on “how both countries can work together to effectively address the challenge of terrorism and to advance regional peace, security and stability”.

Earlier, McMaster and Doval held detailed discussions on Indo-US relations especially the security aspect of the ties, sources said. The US NSA arrived last evening from Pakistan where he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Ahmed Bajwa.

While McMaster is understood to have raised the issue of Pakistan-based terror groups, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted on Tuesday, “US NSA meets COAS. Pak itself is victim of state sponsored terrorism, it strongly rejects allegations of employing proxies from its soil.” This was in response to reports of McMaster raising the issue in his meeting with Bajwa.

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  1. G
    Apr 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    Why PM is so desperate to meet trump even though trump is not interested at all..
    1. M
      Apr 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm
      Carry on modi hindus are there with you. make your people kill some more muslims in the name of cow. Kill them if they dont chant Bharat mata ki jai. kill them if they dont chant jai shriram. you won UP on the basis of hindu support only. Go US go australia go anywhere and dont forget to kill muslims. you will be keep on winning. Hindus are with you. you will win more and more elections.
      1. S
        Apr 20, 2017 at 4:28 am
        The frustrated sulk and stink of falsehood is clearly written all over in your post. Who are you trying to fool?
      2. A
        Apr 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm
        Waste of time and people money modi while going to US will sleep In plane and will come out of plane when reach US like dead mouse and will never understand what joker trump will say about India , and when the trump. Will come to india modi will take him for ride in metro as if they don't have metro or never seen in US and then he will take trump to temple to show naked diety and then they will go see river and trump will enjoy looking all this plus all Chaddi female folk singer will make him look like drunk which he is actually and the folk song make him sleep in modis lap because both r maru.
        1. R
          Apr 19, 2017 at 1:54 pm
          So far Trump has showed himself to be a strong China supporter. He has s ped the TPP which would have hurt China and is looking to s H1B which would affect indian software exports. The recent action of selectively bombing some IS hideout but sparing stani proxies like the Afghan Taliban raise questions about the mismatch between Trump's statements and actions.
          1. V
            Vilas Apte
            Apr 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm
            Rarely seen a leader being so desparate to get a meeting with Trump, sent his officials repeatedly to US for this purpose, even now dates are not announced. Does it not compromise the nation's prestige. In the Trump era, geeting an ear to him is to tap his daughter and son-in-law, that is what the Chinese did and the meeting success and over in the first week of April.
            1. S
              Apr 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm
              What is your problem if Modi wants to meet Trump? Mind your business
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