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Narendra Modi in Washington as it happened: Donald Trump, PM take no questions from media in White House Rose Garden

Washington: President Donald Trump meets for the first time Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

FP Politics June 27, 2017 00:54:04 IST
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Narendra Modi in Washington as it happened: Donald Trump, PM take no questions from media in White House Rose Garden

Highlights

03:39 (ist)

Modi, Trump joint statement carries forward the legacy of friendship and close cooperation

There were some questions over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump's maiden meeting would be a "
budding romance or a one-night stand". 

Those questions were perhaps adequately answered at the joint statement that followed the delegation-level talks. Trump and Modi's gushing admiration of each other and their twin embraces in quick succession left no room for doubt that both leaders were ready to put their best foot forward. They struck all the right notes, made overarching commitments and issued strong statement against terrorism and the radical ideology that drives it. 

Both leaders vowed to address common threats jointly and displayed trust in each other's commitments. Trump said in his address that he will fulfill his campaign promise of being a "true friend" of India at White House and Modi invited the president, first lady and the Trump family to India. 

On body language, choice of topics and symbolism, the outcome of the meeting seemed to confirm the continuity of Obama era and set the terms of bilateral engagement in a paradigm of positivity.

01:23 (ist)

As Trump-Modi shake hands, body language could be a crucial determinant of meeting's outcome

As the much-anticipated Narendra Modi-Donald Trump meeting gets under way, it will be worthwhile looking at the body language of the two leaders. It was interesting to note the bonhomie on display when the two leaders met for the first time with Trump catching Modi with one of his signature handshakes. 

Trump didn’t actually pull Modi close but both leaders appeared jubilant and completely at ease in each other's presence, which might be important going ahead in what is being billed as an opportunity for mutual assessment. Trump, unlike most world leaders, suffers from an insecurity disorder and an exaggerated sense of ego. He likes to be praised and respected. If those buttons are pushed, he may take positions that may run contrary to his stated ones.

Modi is known for his eye for details and as a master communicator. If the prime minister manages to charm the US president, he might return to India with some gains. This is not to trivialise Modi's "most important encounter with an American leader in recent years" as Carnegie Endowment senior fellow Ashley J Tellis has described the meeting but to indicate the extent to Trump lets personal rapport override strategic decisions in policymaking. 

As this writer has
argued in the curtain-raiser, "if Modi succeeds in charming Trump and pandering to his ego, India may come out of the meeting with at least some deliverables."

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

June 27, 2017 - 04:01 (IST)
Make in India vs Make America Great Again

How will India and US reconcile the contradiction between 'Make in India' and 'USA first' policies of Modi and Trump? 

The US president has embarked on a journey where he is reluctant to look beyond the interests of his country and countrymen: The biggest example being his decision to leave the Paris Agreement. Trump has been exhorting CEOs to invest in the US and generate employment for Americans.

Modi, meanwhile, has been inviting global investors to Make in India, an appeal that is the antithesis of Trump's focus on retaining investment at home.

Trump is not known to be driven by strategic concerns or market logic. He is also a bit myopic when taking decisions, preferring short-term gains over the long-term benefits. It would be a challenge for Modi to sell his Make in India dream to the US while Trump tries his best to keep investors from eyeing foreign shores.

June 27, 2017 - 03:57 (IST)
When "true friends" met

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not address the US president Donald Trump by his first name, unlike the way he spoke to Trump's predecessor

Yet, signs of bonhomie were visible during the first meeting between "true friends."

Trump patted the Modi on the shoulder. In return, Modi held on to Trump's hand for what looked like an eternity. And then, after speaking to the president and his wife Melania, the PM laughed uproariously, signalling an instant connect.

Modi is a master communicator. He speaks not just with words but also his gestures on the world stage. His bromance with Barrack Obama helped him  earn a lot of political equity both at home and in the US.

The PM would now be hoping that his chemistry with Trump is not only noticed by the audience back home but also clearly conveys to the world that India and the US have continued on the path of friendship in spite of the changed political environment in Washington.      

June 27, 2017 - 03:45 (IST)

The hug seen around the world

June 27, 2017 - 03:39 (IST)

Modi, Trump joint statement carries forward the legacy of friendship and close cooperation

There were some questions over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump's maiden meeting would be a "budding romance or a one-night stand". 

Those questions were perhaps adequately answered at the joint statement that followed the delegation-level talks. Trump and Modi's gushing admiration of each other and their twin embraces in quick succession left no room for doubt that both leaders were ready to put their best foot forward. They struck all the right notes, made overarching commitments and issued strong statement against terrorism and the radical ideology that drives it. 

Both leaders vowed to address common threats jointly and displayed trust in each other's commitments. Trump said in his address that he will fulfill his campaign promise of being a "true friend" of India at White House and Modi invited the president, first lady and the Trump family to India. 

On body language, choice of topics and symbolism, the outcome of the meeting seemed to confirm the continuity of Obama era and set the terms of bilateral engagement in a paradigm of positivity.

June 27, 2017 - 03:27 (IST)

Modi and Trump take no questions from media
 

According to media reports, it was the Indian delegation that suggested no questions be taken from the press at the White House Rose Garden. The Americans quickly agreed.

June 27, 2017 - 03:22 (IST)

Narendra Modi speaks

India is committed to peace in Afghanistan, rebuilding that country is our top priority.

 
 

June 27, 2017 - 03:19 (IST)

Narendra Modi speaks

India considers the US a valuable partner and ally. We can cooperate in many areas: Trade, commerce, investment, technology, innovation and knowledge economy.

 
 

June 27, 2017 - 03:16 (IST)

Narendra Modi speaks

 
I would like to thank President Donald Trump for his kind words. Both India and US are global engines of growth. Eliminating the scourge of terrorism is our top priority.

June 27, 2017 - 03:12 (IST)

June 27, 2017 - 03:08 (IST)

Washington: President Donald Trump meets for the first time Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Their meeting comes amid uncertainty over the relationship because of differences on trade and other issues.

Trump has focused on outreach to China, India's strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in North Korea. But Washington and New Delhi share concerns about China's rise as a military power.

In advance of the meeting, the Trump administration approved India's purchase of nearly two dozen unarmed surveillance drones. The deal, estimated to be worth about $2 billion, is still subject to congressional approval.

India reportedly wants the drones for surveillance of the Indian Ocean: Waters that China's navy increasingly traverses after establishing its first overseas base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. India's archrival Pakistan would also likely be opposed to the drone sale.

After their meetings, Modi and Trump will make statements in the Rose Garden. Modi will also have dinner with the president and first lady.

Updated Date:

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