Modi to have working dinner at White House, first of its kind
Washington, June 24: Seeking to "roll out a red- carpet welcome" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump would host him for a working dinner at the White House on Monday, the first of its kind under the administration.
"The White House is very interested in making this a special visit. We're really seeking to roll out the red carpet. In fact, the two (leaders) will have dinner, a working dinner at the White House. This will be the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this administration. So, we think that's very significant," a senior administration official told reporters at the White House on the eve of Modi's arrival.
Modi arrives in the US Capitol tonight on a three-day visit during which he would have a meeting with Trump at the White House.
Beginning Monday afternoon, the two leaders would spend several hours together in various settings including one-o- one, delegation level, a reception and conclude with a working dinner "They'll start off with a one-on-one meeting. They'll go from the one-on-one meeting to the bilateral meetings. That will last for about an hour. Then they will each give press statements," the official, said clarifying that it would not be a press conference. "They'll move from the press statements to a cocktail reception. And that will be followed by the working dinner. So it's a long interaction, lots of time for the two leaders to get to know each other, to interact on the critical issues that face our two countries," the official said.
During the meetings, the American side would be represented by top leaders including the Vice President Mike Pence, the National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. H R McMaster, and the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Modi trip, the official said is an opportunity to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership, which Trump very much views as a critical partnership in promoting stability and security in the Asia Pacific region and globally.
"We anticipate that their discussions will be broad- ranging, hitting on a variety of regional and global issues that would seek to advance our common priorities, including fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity," the official added.