Soon after US President Donald Trump on Monday called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate him on the "state-level elections" — Assembly elections held in five states, of which Modi's BJP formed government in four — it emerged that Modi had been invited to a meeting with Trump when he travels to Washington later this year.
This could be good news for India, giving it the opportunity to present before the US certain concerns and business opportunities that could be beneficial for not only both countries but the entire world.
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Here are five topics that may come up in their discussions:
1. H1-B visa: With tighter visa norms being proposed, and the US progressively moving away from letting non-Americans into the country, Modi will have his task cut out on this one: Convince Trump that skilled Indian workers will actually help, and not hinder, his dream to "Make America Great Again."
2. Attacks on Indians: There have been several attacks on People of Indian Origin (PIOs) in the US in recent months, and almost all of them happened because they were mistaken for people coming from the Middle-East. Modi is expected to urge Trump to take steps to ensure that such attacks and hate crimes are not repeated.
3. Climate change: India had been party of the Paris climate talks, and had promised to cut down its carbon emission and switch to cleaner sources of energy. However, the efforts can come to nought if the US — the country with the second-largest carbon footprint in the world — does not follow its own commitments. Modi may have a tough time convincing Trump to stick to the US' climate goals.
4. Counter-terrorism: Trump has time and again talked tough on terrorism, as has Modi. With this as the common ground, the two world leaders may want to team up against terrorism emanating from Pakistan, thereby forcing it to take more definitive steps to curb terror outfits festering within its borders.
5. US business and investment opportunities in India: This may be a long shot, but Modi can be expected to present a few business and investment opportunities in India, and while Trump is absolutely against "outsiders" getting American jobs, he is also a businessman who might jump at these investment opportunities for the benefit of the US.