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Modi, Trump to meet for the first time on June 26 in Washington

The two sides will be looking to move forward with deals such as unarmed drones that India wants

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Donald Trump, Narendra Modi

India's Prime Minister Modi will hold talks with US President Donald Trump in on June 26, the Indian foreign ministry and the said on Monday, the first meeting between the leaders.

Ties between the two big democracies grew rapidly under the administration of former President Barack Obama which saw as a partner to balance China's growing clout in Asia.

But Trump has focused on building ties with China, seeing it as key to tackling regional problems such as North Korea's nuclear programme.

The Indian ministry said Modi's talks with Trump would lay the ground for a further expansion in ties, allaying some of the anxiety that had crept in about a drift in relations.

"Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of mutual interest and consolidation of a multidimensional strategic partnership between and the US," the ministry said in a statement.

In Washington, spokesman Sean Spicer said the two leaders will discuss topics including economic growth, the fight against terrorism, expanding defence cooperation and growing US-trade.

"You can expect the two of them to set forth a vision that will expand the US-partnership in an ambitious and worthy way," Spicer said.

The United States has emerged as a top arms supplier to and the two sides will be looking to move forward with deals such as unarmed drones that wants for its Navy, sources said.

One issue that the two leaders face is resolving conflict arising out of the push they are both making at home to boost industry and create jobs.

Modi has been driving a make-in-campaign to press foreign arms suppliers to set up factories in and transfer technology instead of selling off-the-shelf, which has made one of the world's biggest arms importers without any domestic production base.

Trump, on the other hand, has rallied against firms moving factories outside the United States and has demanded US companies invest at home as part of his "America First" campaign.

Trump's review of a visa programme under which thousands of skilled Indian workers go to the United States is also a top concern for