PM Narendra Modi's first meeting with US President Donald Trump

India initiated its request to buy 22 Guardian MQ-9B unmanned aircraft for maritime surveillance a year ago. The deal, estimated to be worth about $2 billion, is still subject to congressional approval.

They've spoken over the phone a couple of times, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will meet for the first time on Monday in face-to-face talks at the White House. It takes place amid uncertainty over the relationship because of differences on trade and other issues.

Trump has so far focused on outreach to China, India's strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.

Both New Delhi and Washington have been partners in the fight against global terrorism.

The two leaders are also likely to discuss Pakistan and regional terrorism, analysts said, particularly as Trump's administration formulates a new South Asia policy.

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"We are pleased that the United States government has cleared the way for the sale of the MQ-9B Guardian to the Indian government", Linden Blue, CEO of the manufacturer, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, said in a statement.

Tillerson had said this during a meeting here with visiting Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week. Modi would leave the White House later in the night with both the First Lady and Trump participating in the departure ceremony.

India does not have a formal alliance with the U.S., but defense ties have intensified in recent years with joint drills between the two militaries and defense sales. Since 2008, India has signed more than $15 billion in U.S. defense contracts, including for C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters. How much up we go depends on the leaders.

The two leaders are expected to meet sometime in the afternoon (late night IST).

The evening will witness a working dinner, the first time Trump has played host to a foreign dignitary at the White House.

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Trump's administration has meanwhile indicated it could take a tougher stance on Pakistan, which India has long accused of harboring militant groups.

But there could be increased strains on trade issues.

Modi is likely to lobby Trump on visas for technology workers.

Members of the Indian community in the United States want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the issue of H-1B visas with Donald Trump.

Trump accused India of seeking to profit from the Paris climate accord as he announced the USA withdrawal from the deal this month - drawing sharp denials from New Delhi.

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He set the United States on a path to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and accused India of negotiating unscrupulously for the accord in order to walk away with billions of dollars in aid.Meanwhile, Indian officials reject suggestions that Modi's "Make in India" platform is protectionist and complain about the USA regulatory process for generic pharmaceuticals and rules on fruit exports to the United States.They stress the importance of the huge Indian market to US companies and major growth in areas such as aviation, which offer significant opportunities for US manufacturers.Rick Rossow, an India expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the frictions in U.S. India denies that and says it will continue to be part of the accord, regardless of U.S. participation.

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