Modi meets Trump: Will there be an Obama like bromance?
They both have pro-business bonafides and rely heavily on the social media. The much anticipated June 26 meeting between Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump needs to focus on a few key areas. This would be the first meeting of the two leaders and a lot of focus would be on their chemisty.
There is a lot that India and US will have to work on. Key areas such as terrorism and China could be the large part of the focus when the two leaders meet. While issues such as Afghanistan and strategic partnership will be brought up at the meeting, it is to be seen how Modi would raise the H-1B visa issue considering Trump follows the America First policy.
All eyes would be on the the chord that the two leaders strike. Trump is without doubt one of the most unpredictable Presidents in the history of America and hence it would be all the more interesting see what kind of chord the two leaders would hit.
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. Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director, and Senior Associate for South Asia Asia Program, Wilson Centre 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.