Skip to comments.Trump's dinner for Modi, a first for a visiting leader
Posted on 06/23/2017 10:44:02 PM PDT by Jyotishi
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 this 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 capital on Saturday night local time 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-on-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, Defence 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.
Noting that the US is very much interested in facilitating India's defence modernisation, and helping to enhance its role as a leader in the Asia Pacific, the official said the Trump Administration believes that a strong India is good for the US.
"Now, of course, we've seen rapid growth in the defence and security partnership over the last few years, and President Trump very much wants to build on that momentum.
And last year's designation of India as a major defence partner was extremely important, and I think we'll see a concrete expression of this important designation during this visit," said the senior White House official.
The Trump Administration, the official said, believes that defence trade strengthens both the countries' security, it reinforces the strategic partnership, and it allows their armed forces to cooperate more closely and improve their interaction with one another.
Observing that this defence trade has supported thousands of American jobs, the official said since 2008, India has signed over USD 15 billion in defence contracts with the US.
Counter-terrorism would be another major area of discussion.
"The US and India are both committed to combating all forms of terrorism and strengthening their cooperation in areas like terrorist screening, intelligence and information-sharing, terrorists' use of the Internet, and, of course, terrorist designations," the official said.
"I think we can expect to see some new initiatives on counter terrorism cooperation," the official said.
Among other things, Modi and Trump will also be discussing global cooperation and things like burden-sharing.
Mentioning that India has committed more than USD3 billion in development aid to Afghanistan, the official said the US views India's role in Afghanistan as very positive in helping to stabilise the country and promote democracy there.
Noting that India has also adopted UN sanctions against North Korea in April, the official said India joins the US in sending a very strong message to the North Korean regime.
"This visit will provide an opportunity for both countries to restate their commitment to common principles in the strategically vital important region of the Indo-Pacific. This includes freedom of navigation and overflight," the official asserted.
In the trade and investment area, India and the US are committed to "expanding and balancing" their trade relationship, the official said.
"Right now, two-way trade in goods and services totals over USD 114 billion.
Now, there are challenges in the trading sphere, and both sides look to increase their market access," the official added.
Observing that the US is looking for things like stronger intellectual property protections, reductions in tariffs, the official said this visit offers an opportunity to advance that trade dialogue and look for opportunities that will enhance prosperity and create jobs for both countries.
Energy partnership is one aspect of the economic relationship that has not been highlighted as much in the past, the official said, adding that this would be an important part of the trip.
Indian energy companies have signed over USD 32 billion in long-term contracts for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas, including from Louisiana and Maryland, he said.
The visit will also demonstrate the strong people-to-people ties, the White House official said.
Today, nearly four million Indian Americans are in the United States, and more than 166,000 Indian students are studying in the US, contributing USD 5 billion in economic activity and supporting an estimated 64,000 American jobs, the official said.
Modi's visit to the US -- the first under the Trump Administration -- offers an opportunity for relationship-building, the official said.
"I think these two leaders have a lot in common. For one, they are the world's two most followed political leaders on social media.
I think President Trump is slightly ahead of Modi, but I think this shows the kind of leaders they are. They're both innovators, they're both businessmen, they're committed to bringing greater prosperity to their people and thinking about innovative ways to do that," the official noted.
"I think they're going to find a lot of common ground in their discussions, both personally and in terms of the strategic partnership," said the senior administration official.
Eight paragraphs before they let us ignorant ones know that Modi is the PM of India.
Wait until Trump has TWO scoops of ice cream!!
There will be Breaking News for Maddow and for Don Lemon.
Brian Williams will analyze it.
Lester Holt will be very concerned and they’ll go live to Katy Tur who will try to figure the long-term impact on international relations and whether a Special Prosecutor should be appointed.
Then, Katy Tur will try to figure out if her Dad is her 2nd Mom - or something.
Okay - from the article is from INDIA! The clue was “Modi will visit U.S. President Donald Trump....”
Glad to here the press in India is making it a big deal - it sounds like that is what Trump is trying to get across.
The U.S. press will probably be “Trump will be rolling out the red carpet for Modi, which is usually reserved for heads of states rather than a Prime Minister. It is not known why this show of honor, although sources say that Modi may be Trump’s back channel to Russia.”
Yep I had the same reaction.
I guess the article is written from the Indian perspective, so it’s like one of our articles just referring to President Trump.
This is a good thing. India working with the USA keeps Pakistan and China in check. India knows a thing about fighting Islamic fighters, what with the friction with Pakistan since the partition of India into Pakistan and a million casualties in fighting. And their border conflict with China since their 1962 war. We need India as an ally.
Are democrats outraged?
It is Don’s artful grace. Everyone he meets with feels special. Morsi. Xi. SA’s King. Netanyahu. Now Modi. Each one walks away with a first. Each one got a first. Trump has so many properties it is insane. Who will be his first golf guest head of state?
Rediff is an Indian news website.
Narendra Modi is the Head Honcho of India. For those of you in Rio Linda, that means Narendra is the national leader of India.
As for the Indian head of state, that is Pranab Mukherjee. Ever heard of him? Me neither.
A working dinner with all of President Trump’s top foreign policy advisors present sounds so efficient. They can develop a consensus before the swampthings get their zombies riled up and screaming it’s a plot for Russia to take over the US or whatever.
OMG!! I had NO idea who Modi was until the 8th PARAGRAPH!! Who teaches these people how to write a column??
I’m waiting to hear the WH chef & staff complain about being overworked.
Bollywood meets the Donald!
It’s an Indian paper. They already k ow who their guy is.
The U.S. establishment media likes to ridicule Trump for his constant tweets but Narendra Modi also tweets quite a bit.
Anytime someone sees a menu or what Trump is having for this or any dinner, please, ping me. I enjoy making what the prez is dining on.
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