The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on Sunday 25 June 2017. Trump set the tone by welcoming Modi as a True Friend.” This will be the first meeting between the two leaders though they have spoken on telephone three times. The PM will be in the USA for three days. The visit was overdue and one wonders why it did not take place earlier. Modi will have discussions with the US president who is also hosting an official dinner for him, reported the Times of India.

During this visit, Modi will also interact with about 20 leading American CEOs in a meeting as well address an Indian-American community event in the DC suburb of Virginia.

The program is likely to be attended by about 600 members of the community. Some of the top names in American business will interact with Modi.

Meetings with Trump

The meetings with Trump will commence on Monday. Trump has been a little cool towards India. After he withdrew from the Paris climate deal he castigated India. Both leaders will be meeting in the background of a trade deficit in India's favor. India is concerned about the effects of restriction on H1B visa on Indians working in the U.S. Despite this, the White House is hosting a dinner for Modi, the first such event underTrump for any leader.

Low key visit

The visit appears to be low key as there is no plan to address a joint press conference. Both the leaders will issue press statements. Despite this, the visit is important and will give both leaders a chance to get to know each other.

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Perhaps the visit could have been scheduled earlier but India seemed to be falling off Trump's radar. A few Americans have welcomed the visit. US Senator Kamala Harris tweeted that she welcomes "Indian PM @NarendraModi to the United States and reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our two nations."

Modi's fears

Narendra Modi had a strong bond with Obama who also attended India’s military parade on Republic day as the chief guest. He also addressed Congress during his last visit. After Trump came, the relationship appears to have cooled as Trump has been courting China. Modi feared that Trump was sidelining India and hence this visit was on his initiative. It will be interesting to watch the developments further. The military relationship is moving ahead with the latest decision to sell India 22 drones valued at $ 2 billion. It is the first ever deal by the USA to sell this weapon to a country which is not a formal ally of the USA.