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Donald Trump welcomes 'true friend' as PM Modi arrives in Washington

26 June 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have fantastic and strong similarities including their approach towards media, judiciary and legislature, according to a Telangana BJP leader.

"We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India".

While ties with some of Washington's traditional allies have been strained by Trump's complaints that the U.S. has been the loser in trade agreements, Modi appears alert to his host's sensitivities and emphasis on transactional diplomacy.

Highlighting his achievements in rooting out corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there has been "not even one taint or blot" on his government in the past three years.

On Sunday, the Indian leader met with top American executives, painting for them a picture of a business-friendly India with "minimum" governmental encumbrances.

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Initial signs were upbeat, with President Trump describing Modi as a "true friend!" on Twitter, and the Indian leader posting that he "greatly looked forward" to the one-on-one.

Some commentators have suggested they have a natural affinity, having both risen to power in part by castigating the traditional ruling elite while offering a strongly nationalistic vision.

"Both have portrayed themselves as outsiders, promised jobs and to make their countries respected (again), and used or taken advantage of identity politics", wrote Tanvi Madan of the Brookings Institution.

"Social media has become very powerful". He has called for an overhaul of the H-1B visa system, which has benefited Indian tech firms.

Then Trump accused India of seeking to profit from the Paris climate accord as he announced the United States withdrawal from the deal this month - drawing sharp denials from New Delhi. The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump at the White House this evening.

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Rick Rossow, an India expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the frictions in US-Indian relations since Trump took office on January 20 added gravity to the meeting.

Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" platform, has been troubled by the growing USA trade deficit with India.

Indirectly targeting China, Modi said that unlike some nations India believed in following the world order and achieved its goals by following global rules. Modi said India has been a victim of terrorism, but "the world did not and can not stop us".

Anil Sharma of the organisation "Overseas Volunteer for Better India" said there are high expectations from the Modi- Trump meeting, especially against the backdrop of the uncertainty arising out of the Trump administration's H1B visa policies, and racist attacks against members of the Indian community.

Despite differences over issues such as immigration and climate change, Modi is expected to assure Trump that the United States has nothing to fear from India's growing economic clout.

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The countries continue building their relationship as major defense partners.