PM Narendra Modi arrives in US on the second leg of three-nation visit, Trump welcomes 'true friend'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived began his second leg of a three-nation tour as he landed at the Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC today. This is Indian Prime Minister's first visit to the US since President Donald Trump took office on January 20. Ahead of PM's arrival in the US, Trump said he was looking forward to welcoming "true friend" Modi to White House on Monday and discuss "strategically important" issues in first bilateral meeting.
"Look forward to welcoming India's PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend," Trump tweeted from his official POTUS Twitter account.
Talks between Modi and US President Trump would focus on ongoing cooperation, including counter-terrorism and defence partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, besides trade and law enforcement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said.
Both the leaders have had a few telephonic conversation in last six months but this will be first face to face meeting between them.
Modi's three-day visit to the US will begin today. The PM will interact with about 20 leading American CEOs followed by an Indian-American community event in the DC suburb of Virginia. The programme is likely to be attended by about 600 members of the community.
American CEOs expected to meet Modi today include Apple's Tim Cook, Walmart's Doug McMillon, Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby, Google's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella.
Trump will host Modi at the White House on Monday afternoon and the two leaders would spend about five hours together in various settings beginning with their bilateral discussion, delegation level talks, a reception and a working dinner, the first of its kind hosted by this administration.
The two leaders will not address a press conference but will issue individual press statements.
Indian envoy to the US Navtej Sarna has termed Modi's visit a "great opportunity for the two leaders to know each other". He said Modi will meet the top 20 CEOs of the US during the visit.
On Friday, Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and both sides focused on areas of convergence.
In a pre-departure statement, Modi on Friday said he will hold in-depth discussions with Trump during his visit and hoped to build a forward-looking vision for partnership with the new administration.
The Prime Minister said that apart from his official meetings with Trump and his Cabinet colleagues, he will meet some prominent American CEOs and the large Indian diaspora.
Former President Barack Obama had called India-US ties the "most defining partnership" of the 21st century. Both leaders had struck a warm personal equation and worked to ease any bilateral irritants.
The Obama administration had accorded India the status of a 'major defence partner'.
Modi left New Delhi on Saturday on a three-nation tour that will take him to the US, Portugal and the Netherlands. He reached Portugal on Saturday ahead of his visit to the US on June 26 and will visit the Netherlands on June 27 on the way back home.