Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with Donald Trump on June 26 will highlight a 3 day overseas schedule that begins with a stopover in Portugal on June 24 and ends with a Netherlands visit on June 27.
It’s going to be a hectic working weekend for the entire Indian diplomatic corps in Washington D.C where prep is in full swing. Red eyed diplomats will be plenty - the Indian PM is known to work long hours and is a stickler for detail even in New Delhi and certainly during marquee visits to the US.
Blair House or Willard Hotel which is a short walk from the White House is where the Indian Prime Minister will most likely be staying.
On the morning of Sunday, June 25 is Modi's signature meeting with CEOs in Washington D.C and his afternoon will be spent in neighboring Virginia where he speaks to Indian community leaders around 2 pm EST.
Monday, June 26 is the Modi-Trump summit. The Indian Embassy has still not outed the timing of the meeting, saying “details are still being worked out”.
Yet, what we know from the White House suggests that the meeting will likely be after 10:30 am local time unless there’s a surprise change in plan. US President gets his daily intelligence briefing at 10:30 am and that’s generally been hard coded into the system. Most meetings happen after that. Working lunches for President Trump with incoming dignitaries are usually have a start time of around 11:45 am at the earliest.
Slowly, over the last week or so, it is becoming clearer that India is keen to get a signal on how Trump thinks about the country and the partnership rather than rush into conversations on a host of thorny issues.
As par for the course, Pakistan is likely to be on the table but H1Bs, Paris climate pull out etc may well not figure at all, experts are saying.
Back home, Opposition is piling on the pressure to deliver on hot button items - “The PM should demand and obtain credible and firm assurances from the U.S. President that he will reverse his decision which discriminates against Indian professionals. He cannot return empty-handed,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said in New Delhi.
The asking rate will likely rise this week but Modi, a veteran of many Indo-US meetings, is unlikely to be distracted.
The tricky part is whether Trump will answer media questions post summit or not.
If he does that, all bets are off.
Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 23:18 PM