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

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

  • 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.      

  • 03:45 (IST)

    The hug seen around the world

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 03:22 (IST)

    Narendra Modi speaks

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


  • 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.


  • 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.

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    Trump and Modi begin joint statement

    Honour to welcome the leader of world's largest democracy to the White House, says Trump. During my campaign I said if elected, India would have a true friend in the White House and that's exactly what India has. We have shared values. Both our constitutions begin with "we the people." After our meetings today, the relationship between India and the US has never been stronger and better.

  • Why it won't make sense for India to pick up H1B, climate deal topic during talks

    Though a lot has been said about H1B visas or Donald Trump's decision to pull out of Paris Agreement and his criticism of India, these issues are unlikely to be picked up by both delegations. The US side has indicated that it won't but would be ready with a response if India decides to do so. 

    Though there is considerable pressure on Narendra Modi to get some clarity from Trump administration on its position on the H1B visa program, it will be pertinent to remember that India has very little to gain from raking up the issue during talks. Regardless of how strongly India feels about the skilled visa program or free movement of people, America -- especially Trump-led America -- is not going to reverse its decision to honour India's concerns. Besides, the Trump administration hasn't really moved beyond rhetoric on visa issue and it would be a foolish for India to preempt any move. 

    Similarly, on climate, India's position has been clearly articulated and there's little point in trying to make Trump appear as the global outcast. In fact, a moral argument is the surest recipe to rile up Trump and that's a risk India wouldn't like to take. Far too much is at stake.

  • 02:55 (IST)

  • 02:52 (IST)

    Trump-Modi joint statement in Rose Garden expected shortly

    The delegation level talks are underway. The joint statement in the Rose Garden is expected soon, according to media reports.

  • 'Transactional' Trump sets the terms of engagement as talks begin

    A lot has been said already about transactionalism that Donald Trump might introduce into India-US relationship that has so far been rooted in shared values, vision and strategic importance. 

    We got an early peek into the nature of America's terms of engagement in Trump era when the president opened delegation-level talks with a quip, thanking India for purchasing military equipment. "Thank you for ordering equipment from US; no one makes military equipment like the US," Trump was quoted to have said as the talks got underway at the White House.

    The deal being referred to is the transfer of 22 unarmed Guardian drones to India at a cost of $2 billion. Defence deals provide the greatest area of convergence during the meeting since it complements India's requirements with easy deliverables that Trump is looking for. 

    It will be easier for Trump, who likes to fashion himself as a 'dealmaker' to tweet "wins" if he manages to sell weapons systems and military equipment to India, to believe India's narrative that a close relationship with India is in America's interest. 

    For New Delhi, which is the world's biggest importer of arms, it presents a chance to set the parameters of transactionalism and sets the tone for a closer bilateral tie.

  • 02:25 (IST)

  • A good day for Donald Trump

    US president  Donald Trump is meeting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a day when he can finally claim some political victory after months of setbacks and controversies.

    Hours before Modi's visit to the White House, the US Supreme Court stayed the ban levelled by the lower courts on Trump's travel ban.
    The US Supreme Court will now decide if the president has the power to issue such an order.

    Trump's presidency has been a bit of a mess so far. His popularity ratings are among the lowest for a president in the first six months of his tenure. A series of controversies following the dismissal of former FBI chief James Comey has further eroded Trump's credibility.

    The Supreme Court order, even if it is just a stop-gap approval of Trump's executive order, will come as a relief to the beleaguered president.

    To do business with Trump, India needs the president to be confident about the efficacy of his own decisions, to use his powers with a bit of boldness. Though Trump has shown no signs of backing off in spite of setbacks and controversies, the temporary relief would help him keep his chin up on Monday.

  • 02:09 (IST)

    Donald Trump thanks Narendra Modi during delegation level talks

    Thank you for ordering equipment from US. No one makes military equipment like the United States, says Trump


  • 02:06 (IST)

    Delegation level talks have begun

  • 01:51 (IST)

  • Modi's mention of Trump's 2014 India visit a likely ploy to trigger personal rapport

    During the short address to media just before the meeting, Narendra Modi made a crucial interjection that might be important in building a personal rapport with Donald Trump. The prime minister recollected with gratitude that Trump visited India in 2014, when he wasn't even a presidential candidate, and had warm words for Modi. 

    The prime minister also thanked the first lady for greeting him and his delegation. These little gestures may go a long way with Trump, who places far more importance on personal equation than on strategic concerns. It is unlikely that Modi chanced upon the stray memory of Trump at White House, it is likely a carefully rehearsed bit of information intended to put the US president at ease and indicate to him that Modi values relationships and partnerships. 

    This would be the correct way to deal with Trump who, unlike his predecessors, lacks the breadth of vision needed to appreciate the broader structure of India-US bilateral ties and the strategic and geopolitical importance of the partnership in ensuring a global rules-based order. 

  • 01:48 (IST)

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    Donald Trump speaks

    It is a great honour to have Narendra Modi here who has been such a great prime minister. You have done a great job economically and you are doing well in so many ways, I would like to congratulate you

  • 01:41 (IST)

    Narendra Modi and Donald Trump meet at White House on

    The Modi-Trump joint media briefing has begun, according to media reports.

  • 01:38 (IST)

    Narendra Modi on the warm welcome he's received

    The way President Donald Trump and first lady have welcomed me is a welcome for all 1 billion Indian people. The president has welcomed me with immense warmth. I thank him for the welcome.

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  • 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."

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  • US ban on Salahuddin sets the right tone for Modi-Trump meeting

    It is not an accident that just hours before Narendra Modi sits across the table to meet Donald Trump on Monday for their first face-to-face meeting, the US state department designated Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a 'global terrorist'.

    The press note issued by the US state department makes clear mention of Salahuddin's (real name Mohammad Yusuf Shah) subversive and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and prohibits US nationals from "engaging in transactions with Salahuddin" apart from blocking "all of Salahuddin’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction." 

    Interestingly, the US move — a long-standing Indian demand — came soon after the prime minister met US defence secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. In reality, the US move is a low-hanging fruit that sets the right tone for Modi-Trump meeting. 

    It is the US president's way of telling Modi — whom he greeted as a "true friend" on arrival — that he values the bilateral relationship and paves the way for India-US engagement amid an ambience of positivity. In real terms though, it is little more than a slap on the wrist for Pakistan and a nice little deliverable for Modi to take home. The move is no doubt significant in symbolism but it remains to be seen whether there is any agreement on intelligence sharing. That would be the 'real deal'.

  • 00:46 (IST)

  • Narendra Modi's WSJ op-ed a masterstroke

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signed op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sunday packs expert timing and constructive ideas. And the choice of WSJ over, say, The New York Times or Washington Post, hits a sweet spot for a President who routinely skewers news media.

    WSJ content is one of the few targets Trump does not impale on his lethal midnight tweets. In fact, Trump’s crew takes the trouble of clipping out and mailing it to select, high priority lists as a ‘must read.' (To be fair to arch-rival Financial Times, they did the same for recent piece on how Trump is pushing for US-produced LNG export and why that’s good for America).


  • What PM must do to grab Donald Trump's attention​

    As we count hours before Narendra Modi sits down with Donald Trump for the maiden face-to-face meeting, India-US bilateral tie faces an interesting paradox under the new incumbent at White House. The Indian prime minister must solve this paradox, or at least have a workaround at disposal if he wants to make this tête-à-tête a success.

    The argument carries an implicit assumption that the bilateral relationship, at this juncture of history, carries more importance for India than it does for the US, and therefore it is in India's interest to have Trump in its corner. This shouldn't have been necessary. After all, from Bill Clinton, George W Bush to Barack Obama, from PV Narasimha Rao, Manmohan Singh to now Modi, successive leaders from both nations have walked the extra mile to turn the Cold War-era coldness into a warm strategic embrace.

    To read more click here

  • 00:25 (IST)

    US designates Hizbul Mujahideen chief as global terrorist just hours ahead of Modi-Trump summit

    The US state department on Monday designated Syed Salahuddin, the head of Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, as a specially designated global terrorist. The move comes just hours before the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump at the White House.

    As a consequence of this designation, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with Salahuddin and all of Salahuddin’s property and interests in property subject to the United States jurisdiction are blocked.

    As a senior leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, the state department said in September 2016, Salahuddin, also known as Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah, vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Valley "into a graveyard for Indian forces".

    To read more, click here

  • 00:17 (IST)

    White House welcomes Narendra Modi 

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: Jun 27, 2017 04:17:17 IST