Deepening bilateral trade and economic ties will be one of the key focus areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the US where he will hold talks with President Donald Trump on June 26 in their first meeting.
A number of key issues, including ways to step up cooperation for effectively combating terrorism and further strengthening defence ties, are also likely to figure during the talks between the two leaders. Modi will visit the US on June 25 and 26 as part of a three-nation tour beginning Saturday.
"One of the agendas of the visit is how to further push and develop economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefit," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked about the focus of the Modi-Trump meeting.
One of the agendas of visit is how to further push & develop economic & commercial cooperation for mutual benefit: MEA Spox on PM's US visit pic.twitter.com/CawdtUmSHO— ANI (@ANI) June 22, 2017
Refusing to give further details, he said all matters of bilateral interests will be on the table, adding, "The leaders will have an entire gamut of relationship in front of them when they talk."
Asked whether incidents of alleged racial attacks will be raised by the prime minister with the US president, Baglay said not all attacks were racial. "Whenever there have been attacks on Indians because of some reason or the other, we have seen that they have been condemned very strongly by the US government."
The MEA spokesperson said the Indo-US relationship has been very robust and strong and thrust would be to take it further. Asked whether Modi will raise with Trump the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Baglay said India's concerns regarding it are very well known and that it was logical to assume that matters relating to regional and global security will be discussed.
"Terrorism that emanates from there (Pakistan) affects not only India, but other countries in South Asia and the world over. We do talk to our friends and partners on how to counter terrorism, cross-border terrorism and international terrorism," he said.
On whether India will apprise the US about its concerns over the US military aid to Pakistan being diverted for anti-India activities, Baglay did not give a direct reply, but said such concerns have been conveyed whenever there has been an occasion.
To a query on how preparations for the Modi-Trump meeting were going on considering the US leader's "maverick nature", Baglay only said, "I don’t agree with your description of the president."
The MEA spokesperson said Modi will meet CEOs of top US companies and senior representatives from the business community on June 25. There will be an Indian community event in the afternoon of that day as well.
On Modi's meeting with the CEOs, he said discussions are expected on giving further fillip to trade and investment. Modi would visit Portugal on June 24 and the Netherlands on June 27.