India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met US President Trump to thrash out hot issues ahead of the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders in more than two decades.
The two leaders will have a “direct” face-off in the Oval Office at about 1pm local time (8pm GMT) to discuss the hot issues of the day and their mutual goals for the coming months, Indian media reported.
The first bilateral meeting between Modi and Trump took place last December when the US president welcomed him to the White House after the leaders held a joint press conference to discuss their respective bilateral agreements and policies.
The India-US Strategic Partnership is a major priority for both countries and they want to improve cooperation and deepen mutual trust in order to build the future of Indo-US relations, Modi said during the bilateral meeting.
They also discussed the ongoing standoff between the Indian and Chinese governments over their territorial disputes in the Himalayas and the “resurgence” of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.
In his address to the joint presser, Modi stressed the importance of cooperation between India and the US in order “to ensure a stable and prosperous Indo-American partnership”, adding that the bilateral partnership is a cornerstone of peace and stability in Asia.
Modi said the US is the “greatest trading partner” in the world and India wants to build on the relationship by improving bilateral trade, investment and investment climate.
He said India is committed to increasing its exports to the US by 25 per cent in 2019, by 60 per cent by 2020 and by 60 percent in 2025.
In addition to increasing bilateral trade to $US150 billion ($161 billion) in 2019 and $US240 billion ($255 billion) by 2020, India would increase the current account surplus by $US300 billion ($333 billion) over the same period, he said.