External Affairs Ministry today said that India is eagerly awaiting US President Donald Trump’s visit and expressed confidence that it will provide an opportunity to review bilateral ties and further strengthen the global strategic partnership.
The US President will begin his maiden visit to India from Ahmedabad on the 24th of this month. The two-day visit is also going to be the first stand alone visit by a US President to India.
Briefing media this afternoon, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, all issues including defence, security and trade are expected to come up during the restricted and delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President to be held on the 25th of this month in New Delhi.
With President Trump claiming that India has not treated his country very well on the trade front, Mr Kumar said the context in which the remarks were made was balance of trade and there have been efforts to address the concerns. He said, it is important to understand the context in which the remarks were made.
On how many agreements will be signed during the US President’s visit to India on the 24th of this month, the Spokesman said, around five MoUs are under discussion. Replying to a question on when Indo-US trade deal will be signed, Mr Kumar said, they do not want to create any artificial deadline.
He said, the Indian side has been engaging with the US on trade talks for some time. He hoped that an understanding will be reached with an outcome that strikes the right balance for both sides. He also said, the issues relating to H1B visa are likely to figure in the talks between the two leaders.
The India-us relationship is progressing from strength to strength. The bilateral trade has already been growing at more than 10 per cent per annum for the past two years and trade deficit has been declining steadily. Bilateral trade will become even more balanced with increasing imports of US oil and gas and purchase of large numbers of civil aircraft by India over the next few years. The US is now India’s 6th largest source of crude oil imports, while India has become the US’s 4th largest customer of crude oil.