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Trump And India’s Modi Share Similarities, But A Host Of Issues Divides Them

President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strech to shake hands during their assembly in a Oval Office on Monday. Concerns in New Delhi have centered on either India will sojourn a priority attribute for a U.S.

Evan Vucci/AP


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President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strech to shake hands during their assembly in a Oval Office on Monday. Concerns in New Delhi have centered on either India will sojourn a priority attribute for a U.S.

Evan Vucci/AP

As India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in a U.S. over a weekend, President Trump tweeted a comfortable welcome, job a Indian personality “a loyal friend.” The dual are assembly for a initial time during a White House Monday afternoon, Modi carrying arrived for a brief, two-day call — not a state visit, yet a operative one.

Perhaps that’s fitting, as there is so many in a attribute to work on.

A horde of issues now divides a dual leaders, including a Paris meridian change agreement, that Modi supports and Trump rejects, and a diagnosis of Iran as a renegade state, that Trump supports and Modi rejects. India wants a U.S. to safeguard visas for a learned workers, including IT engineers. But Trump says a visas have been dissipated and criticise jobs for Americans.

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Perhaps a many critical outcome of their assembly will be putting to rest a idea that a U.S.-India attribute is adrift.

Maya Mirchandani, a comparison associate during a Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi consider tank, says a fact it has taken until now for Trump to lay down with Modi has stirred stress in India that New Delhi is no longer a priority in a Oval Office.

“We have seen both President Bush and President Obama give India a clarity of supremacy that’s been blank in a final 6 months,” Mirchandani said. “That’s something [both sides] competence wish to correct.”

Sounding a calming note, a comparison White House central who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity pronounced a Trump administration is meddlesome in progressing a same “strategic partnership” India enjoyed underneath a Obama administration, when a indifferent Obama and a some-more infrequent Modi strike it off so good they were dubbed a “odd couple.”

But a Trump administration has nonetheless to transparent an altogether South Asia policy. There is no U.S. envoy in New Delhi (though White House assistance Kenneth Juster is reported as a expected claimant to fill a slot) and no partner secretary is in place for South Asian affairs during a State Department — tactful absences that can't assistance yet means even some-more confusion in New Delhi.

Defense ties are strengthening, though, as a U.S. is staid to sell some-more arms to India. In a final decade, it’s sole $15 billion value of weaponry to New Delhi, according to a comparison White House central who briefed reporters on a visit. Modernizing India’s defenses will strengthen both countries, she said. The same could be pronounced for a thousands of Indians study in a United States, whose talents can advantage both countries.

Modi has called India’s attribute with a U.S. “multi-layered and diverse,” observant it extends good over government-to-government, and pronounced he looked brazen to an “in-depth sell of views” with President Trump to “consolidate” a “wide-ranging partnership.”

But a Indian leader’s revisit comes during an inappropriate time, as a boss and his group are dreaming by domestic domestic and authorised challenges.

The happy Modi will be in listening mode, says Shyam Saran, India’s former unfamiliar secretary — fervent to hear a president’s universe view, generally on China, and where India fits into Trump’s elaborating Asia policy.

Trump already “has had a unequivocally critical assembly with a Chinese President Xi Jinping. What is his clarity of how China-U.S. family will develop?” asks Saran. “We also see a need for there being a purpose for India to perform,” he adds. “After all, we have a certain interest, common interest, in carrying a some-more offset design in a Asia-Pacific region.”

Modi will also be penetrating to know some-more about Trump’s process in a Middle East, generally in a arise of new Saudi and Gulf state moves opposite Qatar for a purported support of terrorists. With millions of Indian adults operative in Gulf countries, India watches developments like this with alarm.

In a underbrush of diplomacy, Modi contingency also to try to grasp an indeterminate U.S. boss who derides China as a “currency manipulator” one day, yet after calls President Xi “a good guy.”

“What is unequivocally disconcerting in New Delhi is what we get on Monday is not indispensably what we get on Tuesday,” says Milan Vaishnav, a comparison associate with a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. “This kind of 180-degree spin is unequivocally concerning to India.”

Vaishnav says Modi’s priorities embody creation swell on due new U.S. visa restrictions that could impact a standing of India’s learned workers — and scold a record on meridian change. When President Trump pulled out of a Paris meridian agreement, he pronounced India had predicated a appearance on receiving “billions and billions and billions of dollars of unfamiliar aid,” a acknowledgement that angry New Delhi, where leaders pronounced it was plainly untrue.

The competing visions of a dual leaders — both desirous by jingoist impulses — might be a many poignant jump for well-spoken relations. The dual group rose to bureau by appealing to majorities who felt persecuted or ignored — fundamentalist Hindus in Modi’s case, and depressed white electorate in Trump’s. Modi wants to spin India into a production powerhouse and enroll American businesses to emanate jobs that would lift millions of Indians from poverty. Trump wants to keep American businesses and jobs during home.

While both group are useful deal-makers, Vaishnav wonders either Trump’s “America First” process can be stretchable adequate to accommodate India and a need to grow.

“I consider we’ve now come to a flare in a road, and it’s not transparent that approach we are going to go,” he says.

For all their differences, though, Trump and Modi share pivotal traits: They positioned themselves as outsiders and rose to a apex of an insider’s game. They creek no critique and trust in personal diplomacy. Both are vast personalities with a gusto for warn and a low contempt for a media — unless they’re regulating it to serve their possess ends.

Trump and Modi are a dual inaugurated leaders with a many supporters on Twitter, and both leapfrogged over a mainstream media in their arise to power.

Mirchandani expects this is one area in that a dual will find common ground.

“They will positively see eye to eye,” she says, “on creation a hoax of a media.”