President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set for talks at Hyderabad house on the second day of the American leader’s two-day visit to India.
On the anvil, is the signing of the defence deals and at least five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on issues ranging from civil nuclear cooperation to natural gas and trade facilitation. One of the defence deals is the sale of military helicopters worth more than $3 billion to India.
Modi and Trump are also expected to review the global and regional situation and discuss ways to take forward bilateral relations.
Tuesday’s talks between Modi and Trump are also likely to send across a clear message of growing equivalence of interests between India and the US on major geopolitical developments in the region and beyond, particularly when China has been expanding its military and economic clout. At the Namaste Trump event in Ahmedabad on Monday, Trump had said that Modi was a “tough negotiator”.
The talks are also expected to include counter-terrorism, H1B visas, energy security, religious freedom, the proposed peace deal with Taliban in Afghanistan and situation in the Indo-Pacific, Indian and US officials have said.
Though a trade deal has proved elusive, it is expected to be a major topic of conversation.The US wants access to Indian markets in dairy and poultry, removal of control over medical device prices in a limited trade deal and India has sought relief from tariffs on its steel and aluminium exports to the US and restoration of benefits under a zero-duty preferential trade programme.
Ahead of his visit Trump himself had said that he was “saving the big deal” with India for later.
In Ahmedabad on Monday, Trump had nudged India to resume talks with Pakistan. He could take up the matter again with Modi on Tuesday. India and Pakistan have not had official-level talks since 2013.
At the Motera Stadium, Trump had also said that Washington’s efforts to get Islamabad to act against terrorists, was paying off. Washington would also like India and Pakistan to start some kind of a dialogue as it prepares to a peace deal with Taliban on February 29.