On his way to the United States for his first meeting with President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was looking forward to further consolidate the wide-ranging bilateral partnership between the two countries.
Modi’s visit to the US comes less than a month after Trump pulled his country out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, citing, among other things, unfair advantages that the agreement apparently offered to India. Trump had also claimed, incorrectly, that India had made its participation in Paris Agreement contingent on receiving “billions and billions and billions” of dollars of foreign aid.
In his pre-visit remarks, posted on his Facebook page, Modi said India’s relations with the US were “multi-layered and diverse”. He avoided any mention of climate change in the upcoming discussions.
“President Trump and I have spoken on telephone prior to this (the visit). Our conversations have touched upon our common intent to take forward our productive all-round engagement for the mutual benefit of our people. I look forward to this opportunity to have an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating the robust and wide-ranging partnership between India and the United States,” Modi said.
“India’s partnership with the United States is multi-layered and diverse, supported by not just governments but all the stakeholders on both sides. I look forward to building a forward looking vision for our partnership with the new Administration in the United States under President Trump,” he said.
Modi will be in the US from June 24 to 26 during which he will meet Trump, his cabinet colleagues, and CEOs of some American companies. He will also interact with the Indian population in the US.
From the US, Modi is slated to travel to the Netherlands, where he is supposed to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and call on King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. Modi said his discussions with Rutte would include matters of global importance like climate change and counter-terrorism.
“Economic relations form the core of our bilateral relations. The Netherlands is our sixth largest trading partner in the EU and the fifth largest investment partner globally. The Dutch expertise in areas such as water and waste management, agriculture and food processing, renewable energy and ports and shipping, matches with our development needs. Indo-Dutch economic engagement is a win-win proposition. I will discuss with PM Rutte as to how the two sides should work to further harness the synergies. I will also be meeting with CEOs of major Dutch companies and will encourage them to join the Indian growth story,” Modi said.
Before landing in the US, Modi is scheduled to make a brief stopover in Portugal on Saturday.