New Delhi: The Prime Minister planned to meet Trump for the second within a time period of less than a week. He will arrive in Houston on Saturday. India’s top envoy said to America that strategic relationship of India-U.S. will become “defining partnership” this century. The previous two meetings of two PMs were on the sidelines of G-20 summit in Japan and G-7 Summit in France this summer.
India’s ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla said to the US audience on Wednesday that “they are scheduled to meet twice more” when Mr. Modi arrives in the US.
During the India on the Hill: Charting a Future for Indo-US Relations’ event jointly organised by two think tanks The Heritage Foundation from the US and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) from India, Mr. Shringla said “four meetings in the span of a few months.”
Mr. Modi is expected to arrive in Houston on Saturday. Mr. Trump would join him in addressing the mega ‘Howdy Modi’ rally to be attented by more than 50,000 Indian-Americans.
Two leaders have planned to meet later in the week in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly sessions. The US Prime Minister is joining the Prime Minister of India in addressing a huge Indian event in Houston, “They will meet on 22nd September.” Mr. Shringla added that they will also meet on the margins of the UNGA in New York.
Barack Obama, Modi and Trump’s predecessor have the record of maximum number of meetings between country leaders of the two country. This is the first time in the history that Indian and US prime ministers are scheduled to meet four times withing the short span of four months.
While participating in a panel discussion, Envoy Shringla said, ““It’s really reflective of the nature of the (India-US) relationship,” during the first-of-its-kind two-day event.
“India-US strategic partnership has emerged as one of the key bilateral relationships from the start of this century and has the potential to become the defining partnership within this century,” he added.
Building blocks of this strategic partnership has emerged now in place, once was the security cooperation. Since the Civil Nuclear Agreement, in a short span of decades the countries have come so far.
India and US has signed various agreements Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA), some are on the stage of discussion. More bilateral exercises planned to be conducted between these two countries than any other.
Shringla said, Bilateral exercises held annually include Malabar (naval exercise that also includes Japan), Cope-India (Air Force), Yudh Abhyas (Army) and Vajra Prahar (Special Forces).
The Indian diplomat said, “We have also instituted the 2+2 Dialogue — a joint meeting between the Foreign and Defense Ministers of the two countries.”
Through Trilateral Summit level meetings between India, the US and Japan, DG-level Quadrilateral meetings between India, the US, Japan and Australia, the two countries will engage.
Mr. Shringla said,“It is worth mentioning that we also have a bilateral maritime security dialogue and several other defense cooperation dialogue mechanisms.” We have a Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism (JWGCT) and a Designations Dialogue. This cooperation also spills over into multilateral fora.
“The listing of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar by the UN Security Council in May 2019, in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack, is one such instance,” he added.