US president calls Modi ‘true friend’
washington — US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that “strategic issues” would be on the table when he holds talks with his “true friend” Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday, as the two leaders look to strike a personal rapport in their maiden meeting.
“Look forward to welcoming India’s PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!,” Trump posted on his official (@POTUS) Twitter handle.
Modi, in his reply to Trump, thanked him for the “warm personal welcome” and said he was “greatly” looking forward to the meeting and discussions tomorrow at the White House.
Modi, who arrived here this morning, will hold summit talks with Trump tomorrow afternoon in the White House and the two leaders would spend several hours together in various settings including one-on-one and delegation-level meetings, a reception and a working dinner.
The working dinner that Trump is hosting for Modi is the first of its kind under the current US 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,” a senior administration official told reporters 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,” the official said.
Look forward to welcoming India’s PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend! @POTUS
Modi was welcomed with loud cheers and applause by the Indian community members who were waiting outside the Willard InterContinental Hotel here to catch a glimpse of the Indian leader.
During his visit, Modi will also meet top American CEOs of global giants, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, here, with issues ranging from visas, investment and job creation expected to occupy centerstage during the discussions.
On the eve of Modi’s US visit, the Trump administration had dismissed reports that it has been ignoring India, saying President Trump realises that the country has been a “force for good” in the world and ties with it were important. “I think that it would be wrong to say that this administration has been ignoring or not focused on India,” a senior administration official had said.
“I think that the US really appreciates India, and I think that President Trump realises that India has been a force for good in the world and that it’s a relationship that’s important. And I think that will come through in the visit on Monday,” the official said. — PTI