Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with US President Donald Trump on June 26 on issues including strengthening the joint mechanism in combating terrorism, trade and H1-B temporary visa. Announcing Modi’s visit from June 25, the External Affairs Ministry on Monday said the Modi-Trump discussions would provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders, the ministry added. The two leaders have spoken over phone at least thrice since Trump assumed office. “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.
During her annual press conference last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said Modi would raise the issue with Trump. The regional security situation including Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and other international issues are expected to figure prominently during the meeting between the two leaders. The meeting comes at a time when Trump has made critical comments about India while announcing America’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement. He has accused India and other countries of trying to extract “billions and billions and billions” of dollars in foreign aid from the developed world to sign up for the climate accord.
In spite of differences on some issues, Modi’s discussions with Trump are likely to find a common approach on matters related to South Asia, particularly the rise in infiltration from Pakistan, terrorism and India’s case for a seat at the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Modi has reiterated India’s support to the Paris agreement and said he is willing to go further than what has been committed under the Paris accord.