Surgical strikes prove India can defend itself: PM Modi

Given China's growing influence across different parts of the world, Beijing's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is also expected come up for discussion.

Officials were eager to downplay expectations for Monday s visit, describing it as "no frills" - in contrast to Modi s first USA visit in 2014, when he basked in a rock-star welcome at the Madison Square Garden arena in NY and addressed the United Nations.

But the handshake, or variant thereof, might also be the most that comes out of this first meeting between the two right-wing majoritarian leaders of the world's largest democracies.

Modi is said to have discussed a plethora of issues from visas and job creation to foreign investments and demonetization.

India, a big buyer of USA arms that was recently named by Washington as a major defence ally, wants to protect its 7,500- km (4,700-mile) coastline as Beijing expands its maritime trade routes and Chinese submarines increasingly lurk in regional waters.

This apart, the issue of what are being seen as racial attacks on Indians in the USA will also be something observers will see if comes up for discussion.

"I don t think PM Modi can change Trump s worldview".

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A White House official echoed the similar views. Indeed, the biggest danger nearly seems to be that Trump, busy as he is with domestic battles and questions about his ties with Russian Federation, will mostly see India as an afterthought.

A proposed overhaul of H-1B visas - used by thousands of Indian software engineers to work in the United States - has also caused concern in New Delhi. "Ramzan is the month of charity, of bringing happiness to others", he added. "We are bound by global laws".

He said that the extra ordinary steps taken by Sushma Swaraj to reach out to Indian in need of help anywhere around the world is commendable. It would also offer an opportunity to study Trump's mind on Pakistan, China and Afghanistan and on U.S. role in the region.

Initial meetings between leaders like this are most important both because they help set the terms of the inter-personal relationship, while also allowing the foreign policy teams on both sides to lay down the priorities that will form the foundation of the ties between the countries. While the American position is yet to be clearly defined, the issue would predictably be passed over on grounds that it is a policy in the making which is still undergoing scrutiny and review.

The one wildcard here is Trump himself. They will then have a working dinner, the first time Trump has played host to a foreign dignitary at a White House dinner.

He said if Arulmozhi had not written to him, he would not have realised that due to E-GEM, a housewife living far away and running a small business can have the items on her inventory purchased directly by the Prime Minister's Office. But as White House officials know well, it is impossible to be entirely in control where Trump is involved.

They will have one-on-one talks followed by statements to the news media without taking questions. An American official has indicated that this was done at India's behest.

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