WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived on the second leg of his three-nation tour for his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump, as the two leaders are set to hold discussions on a set of “strategically important” issues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a “true friend” with whom he had “important strategic issues to discuss,” US President Donald Trump tweeted today as the PM arrived in Washington DC for their first bilateral meeting on Monday. Thanking him for the “warm personal welcome”, PM Modi, replying to President Trump’s tweet, said “Greatly look forward to my meeting and discussions with you”. Ahead of the much-anticipated meeting, the White House on Saturday said that it was “seeking to roll out the red carpet” for PM Modi, adding that it “will be the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this administration”.

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.

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.

Leading US congressmen have called on President Donald Trump to press Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove barriers to US trade and investment when they meet for the first time on Monday.

The lawmakers, from the Republican and Democratic parties, said in a letter to President Trump that high-level engagement with India had failed to eliminate major trade and investment barriers and had not deterred India from imposing new ones.

“Many sectors of the Indian economy remain highly and unjustifiably protected, and India continues to be a difficult place for American companies to do business,” they wrote, noting that a 2017 World Bank report ranked India 130th out of 190 countries for ease of doing business.

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