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Glasses and photographs aside, Donald Trump will talk about religious freedom, relations between India and Pak and business matters with Prime Minister Modi | India News


WASHINGTON / NEW DELHI: Leaving aside the show, the show and the photographs in Ahmedabad and Agra on Monday, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, will not stop in raising sensitive issues such as respect for religious minorities, ties between India and Pakistan and controversial trade issues when it comes to the commercial end of things in New Delhi on Tuesday.

In anticipation of Trump’s 34-hour state visit to India that began in Ahmedabad on Monday, senior US administration officials told reporters that the overall goal of the visit is to illustrate the strength of ties between the United States and India. .

“The president will go to India as a demonstration of the strong and lasting ties between our two countries. These are links based on shared democratic traditions, common strategic interests and lasting ties between our people, “said one official, adding,” this has been exemplified by the close relationship between the President and Prime Minister Modi. ”

The president and the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, will be accompanied by a delegation of high power that will include Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump and her son Jared Kushner, both advisers to the president, as well as three cabinet officials: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, and other senior officials such as cabinet chief Mick Mulvaney and newly married senior advisor (last week) Stephen Miller.

The strength and depth of the delegation denies the lack of immediate results of the visit, including the commercial treaty so commented, although officials indicated that some important trade agreements are on the cards.

The officials were sincere about the growing differences between the two sides on the trade front despite strategic convergences, saying that recent announcements about the Make in India program have made protectionism concerns in India even greater and this certainly It will be discussed between the two leaders.

“The fact that there is or is not an announcement about a commercial package is, in reality, totally dependent on what the Indians are prepared to do,” said the official, putting the responsibility directly in New Delhi for the quagmire of business talks which has resulted in the failure to sew a deal in time for the visit. “We have seen the budget process of India recently used to increase tariffs on products of interest in the United States. We continue to see important divergences in electronic commerce and digital commerce. So, frankly, it is a fairly broad scope of important barriers to access to services and goods that we must address, ”the official added.

In the same spirit of openness, the president of the United States will also talk about “our shared tradition of democracy and religious freedom both in his public comments and later in private,” officials said in the context of issues such as the national citizens’ registry , adding that “we have great respect for the democratic traditions and institutions of India, and we will continue to encourage India to maintain those traditions.”

When asked if Trump would offer to mediate on the issue of Kashmir as he has done several times, the official avoided any mention of Kashmir, but said that “what he will hear from the president is very encouraging to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan , encouraging the two countries to engage in a bilateral dialogue with each other to resolve their differences. ”

However, the official said, the United States continues to believe that “the central basis of any successful dialogue between the two countries is based on continued momentum in Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorists and extremists in its territory … So we keep looking for that. ” ”

Despite trade wrinkles and different perceptions of what New Delhi believes are its internal prerogatives on nationality and citizenship issues, officials emphasized broader strategic convergences, particularly with reference to defense and security cooperation to combat terrorism and promote a free and open Indo. Peaceful.

“The United States wants an India that is strong, with a capable army that supports peace, stability and a rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. In fact, India is a pillar of our Indo-Pacific strategy, and we continue to work together to promote this vision of a free and open international system based on market economy, good governance, freedom of the seas and skies, and respect for sovereignty. And our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific really goes to the heart of what unites our two countries, and these are our shared democratic systems that grant a premium to citizens-centered governments, ”said the official.

Official delegation of 12 members to accompany the president of the United States, Donald Trump

Ambassador Ken Juster, United States Ambassador to India

Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce

Secretary Dan Brouillette, of the Department of Energy.

Mick Mulvaney, Assistant to the President and Acting Chief of Staff

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien

Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president and advises the president

Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Principal Advisor to the President

Stephen Miller, Assistant to the President and Senior Policy Advisor

Dan Scavino, Assistant to the President and Senior Digital Strategy Advisor

Lindsay Reynolds, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the First Lady.

Robert Blair, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Telecommunications Policy and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff

Stephanie Grisham, assistant to the president and press secretary and communications director of the president and first lady

Additional participants of the bilateral meeting include:

Adam Boehler, Executive Director of the US International Development Finance Corporation. UU.

Ajit Pai, president of the FCC

Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President for Central and South Asian Affairs

Mr. Kash Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Chief Counterterrorism Director.

And finally, Mr. Mike Passey, Director for India, National Security Council

Times of India