Indian PM Modi starts global tour

Indian PM Modi starts global tour

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will touch down in Portugal today prior to his two-day trip to the United States.

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Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will touch down in Portugal today prior to his two-day trip to the United States. Modi’s Portuguese counterpart, Prime Minister Antonio Costa, hopes to strengthen cooperation, while the Indian delegation awaits the upcoming meeting with President Trump.

Modi will spend Sunday and Monday in Washington, DC to expand a “multi-dimensional strategic partnership” with the United States. Trump is expected to focus on counter-terror operations and trade, advocating for American trade advantages while discouraging grants of H1-B visas to highly-skilled Indian workers.

While Trump may struggle to bend Indian-American trade to his sole advantage, American aircraft manufacturer General Atomics will leave these meetings happy. This weekend’s agreements will echo recent lucrative arms deals supporting the Indian military, such as previously purchased artillery and aircraft systems.

This weekend brings an upcoming $2 billion in Predator (MQ-1) drone sales – the first purchase of unmanned surveillance systems by a non-NATO ally. These drones are not armed, but U.S. State Department officials are concerned about their potential use against Pakistan’s Kashmir region, weakening the ever more fragile network of American alliances.