Modi Embarks on 3-Nation Tour, Will be Trump's First Dinner Guest at White House




New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday embarked on a three-nation tour of Portugal, the US and the Netherlands during which he will hold talks with the top leadership of those countries to boost bilateral ties.

The highlight of his four-day visit will be the US leg as Modi will be meeting President Donald Trump for the first time on June 26 in Washington. Trump would host Modi for a working dinner at the White House on Monday, the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under the new administration.

Ahead of his visit, Modi said he looked forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views. "My USA visit is aimed at deepening ties between our nations. Strong India-USA ties benefit our nations & the world," he had tweeted.

Beginning Monday afternoon, the two leaders would spend several hours together in various settings including one-on-one, delegation level, a reception and conclude with a working dinner.

"They'll start off with a one-on-one meeting. They'll go from the one-on-one meeting to the bilateral meetings. That will last for about an hour. Then they will each give press statements," PTI quoted a White House official as saying. 

"They'll move from the press statements to a cocktail reception. And that will be followed by the working dinner.

So it's a long interaction, lots of time for the two leaders to get to know each other, to interact on the critical issues that face our two countries," the official said.

During the meetings, the American side would be represented by top leaders, including the Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Modi said his two-day visit to Washington from June 25 was at the invitation of Trump.

Apart from official meetings with Trump and his cabinet colleagues, Modi will be meeting some prominent American CEOs.

In the first leg of the tour, Modi will visit Portugal where he will have talks with Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

"Building on our recent discussions, we will review the progress of various joint initiatives and decisions," he said about his upcoming meeting with Costa.

After the US visit, Modi will travel to the Netherlands on June 27 where he will have a meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and call on King Willem-Alexander and meet Queen Maxima.

This year, the two countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of Indo-Dutch diplomatic relations.

"I look forward to meeting Prime Minister Rutte and reviewing our bilateral relations. I would be exchanging views with PM Rutte on important global issues including counter-terrorism and climate change," Modi said ahead of the visit.
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