Modi not to accompany Trump to Agra;, defence, security & energy tieups likely

Modi not to accompany Trump to Agra;, defence, security & energy tieups likely

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb. 22 : After the spectacular and grand welcome at Ahmedabad on February 24, the visiting U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania are scheduled to head for Agra to see the Taj Mahal but they will not be accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their visit to Agra. "We have seen media reports regarding Prime Minister Modi's presence in Agra in connection with the visit of President Trump.

The visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra by the US President and the First Lady will afford them the opportunity to view the historical monument suitably. Therefore, no official engagements or presence of senior dignitaries from the Indian side is envisaged there," sources in the government said here on Saturday.

"PM Modi will be with President Trump in Ahmedabad, where a public reception will be accorded to President Trump and the US First Lady on February 24, and in the Delhi leg of the visit where official engagements are envisaged on February 25," the sources said. Mr. Trump, his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner will be accomapnied by a high-level official delegation of top U.S. functioanries during their two-day visit to India beginning Monday. It will be the first stand alone visit to India by a U.S. President.

In a briefing in Washington on Friday, a senior administration official said the President would be visiting India as a demonstration of the strong and enduring ties between the two countries which are based on shared democratic traditions, common strategic and economic interests and enduring bonds between the people. The official said the visit will focus on several key areas -- building up on economic and energy ties. The two way trade in goods and services has exceeded $142 billion in 2018 and there was much more room to grow. The Strategic Energy Partnership that was launched by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi in 2017 has paid major dividends and improved energy security.

``The U.S. wants an India that is strong, with a capable military that supports peace, stability, and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. Indeed, India is a pillar of our Indo-Pacific strategy, and we continue to work together to promote this vision of a free and open international system based on market economics, good governance, freedom of the seas and skies, and respect for sovereignty," the official said. The administration official said that both the countries shared vision for a free and open IndoPacific binds India and U.S. together.(UNI)