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Modi leaves for 3 nation tour: What to expect from the US visit

By Vicky

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for this three nation visit to Portugal, US and Netherlands. Modi will visit the US which is probably one of the most anticipated.

On June 26 Modi will for the first time meet with Donald Trump. A working dinner is scheduled for that day. Modi and Trump will meet at around 3.30 pm, EST (1 am IST June 27).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The two leaders are expected to discuss a variety of issues which would include defence, terrorism, strategic partnership and H-1B. A lot of focus would be on the chemistry between Modi and an unpredictable Trump.

Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director, and Senior Associate for South Asia Asia Program, Wilson Centre decodes for OneIndia what one could expect from the meeting of the two leaders.

H-1B: Modi is most certainly going to raise this issue. However many see this as a futile exercise. Donald Trump would not stand in the way of dismantling a programme that Americans believe is taking away their jobs.

Strategic Partnership: This is an area that needs focus. Both countries have time and again spoken about a strategic partnership, but the term has never been properly defined. Kugelman says that one of the constraints in U.S.-India relations has been an inability to agree on the meaning of this term as it applies to the bilateral relationship. This is problematic, given that both countries in a general sense tend to conceive of the term quite differently.

For India, strategic partnership entails close cooperation on technological transfers and arms sales. For the United States, it entails those things but also joint military operations and even a willingness to fight wars together, Kugelman also adds.

China: Both leaders have been worried about the rising clout of China. This is an issue that both countries would handle carefully as the two leaders would not want provoke China. Kugelman says that this dynamic could well change; the ever-fickle Trump began his presidency with a flurry of bellicose anti-China rhetoric before walking back his threat to label Beijing a currency manipulator and embracing China as an essential mediator to deal with North Korea. But for now, with the two men in general agreement about China, Modi should seize the moment and highlight another area of convergence.

Will India join the coalition: On the war on terror, America may ask India to be part of the coalition against the Islamic State. India has in the past refused to be part of the coalition. This time around too if such an offer is made, India is likely to back off. However Modi would seek more participation from the US in handling the Jihadis of Pakistan.

Attacks on Indians: The big question is whether Modi will raise the issue relating to the attack on Indians in the US. The recent murder of Srinivasa Kuchibhotla in Kansas had created an outrage. Trump had been slow to react to these incidents, but did make a statement on the same almost a week after the murder during a joint address to the Congress.

OneIndia News

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