Modi arrives in US; Trump calls him `true friend'

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet for the first time with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday (June 26), part of a two-day "no-frills" visit to the capital that will include little of the pomp of the prime minister's earlier trips during the Obama administration.

Modi, who arrived in the USA capital today, was welcomed with loud cheers and applause by the Indian community members who were waiting outside the Willard InterContinental Hotel to catch a glimpse of the Indian leader. "Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!".

The two leaders will hold talks on Monday afternoon in the White House and will spend several hours together in various settings including one-on-one and delegation level meetings, a reception and a working dinner.

"We anticipate that their discussions will be broad-ranging, hitting on a variety of regional and global issues that would seek to advance our common priorities, including fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity", the official said, briefing reporters at the White House. We're really seeking to roll out the red carpet.

There are strong complementarities between India and Portugal in the start-up sector.

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The Prime Minister thanked Portugal for supporting India's bid to permanent membership of UN Security Council and multi-lateral export control regimes. We think he is a great leader.

"Deviating from Protocol, PM @antoniocostapm see off PM @narendramodi, a warm goodbye", Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted.

"Nevertheless, as a result of India's persistent failure to enact market-based reforms and resolve significant and discriminatory impediments to trade and investment, the US- India economic relationship severely underperforms".

"Some of the defense systems we're talking about, we don't believe that they represent a threat to Pakistan", the official said.

Trump and Modi have spoken twice on the phone, the official said, insisting that the new president has not ignored India.

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But sources tracking the discussions say the US State Department has been concerned about the potential destabilising impact of introducing high-tech drones into South Asia, where tensions are simmering between India and Pakistan.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday.

"There have been no immediate changes to visa applications and procedures, so we're not in position to prejudge what the outcome of that might be", the official said.

"I wish to convey our deepest condolences and sympathies for the victims of the devastating forest fire in Portugal last week", he said.

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Meanwhile, India , Pakistan and Bangladesh will be sighting the moon today as these Asian countries started Ramzan on May 28. Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Koran was revealed to their prophet Mohammed during that month.

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