President Trump may join PM Modi at 'Howdy Modi' event
US President Donald Trump is likely to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, Texas during his mega rally, ahead of the UNGA meet, on September 22. However, a final confirmation is still pending. The event would be attended by 50,000 Indian-Americans. Furthermore, a much-awaited bilateral trade deal could also be announced during PM Modi's visit to the US. Here are the details.
Notably, the two leaders last met at the G7 Summit in France on August 26. During the meet, situation in Jammu and Kashmir and trade were discussed extensively. Trump had described the Kashmir situation as "explosive", and offered to mediate between New Delhi and Islamabad. Interestingly, US has traditionally maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India-Pakistan.
In addition to speculations over Trump's presence at the said event, both nations are also working out a bilateral meeting between the two leaders in Washington DC or New York City. To note, the primary reason behind PM Modi's visit is to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He may also have a face-off with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan there.
Further, PM Modi is scheduled to make a speech on September 27, at the UNGA. On the other hand, Khan, who might speak shortly after PM Modi, can be expected to focus mostly on Jammu and Kashmir, in light of removal of special status and statehood to India's northernmost territories. Islamabad has been openly critical of India's move.
As per the schedule, PM Modi will also take part in a round-table meeting with energy CEOs in Houston. This will aid India fulfill its aim for more energy imports from the US, and its push towards renewable energy, cleaner technologies, and smart grids.
Now, if Trump does turn up for the event, it will be a win-win situation for both the leaders: 1) It will be seen as a support gesture from India to Trump, who is looking at a re-election next year. 2) On its part, India will be relieved as many US lawmakers have raised concerns over the Kashmir issue.