Trump-Modi G-20 Meet to be Just Media Splash - Indian Security Analyst

© AP Photo / Susan Walsh / President Donald Trump walks out from the Oval Office to make a joint statement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington
President Donald Trump walks out from the Oval Office to make a joint statement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington - Sputnik International
The meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi could address some India-US disagreements, especially over trade, tariffs and the purchase of military hardware. Both sides still are of the view that the direction of bilateral ties remains very positive. Bilateral trade is close to $150 billion now, opines an Indian security analyst.

New Delhi (Sputnik): US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in the Japanese city of Osaka on June 28 and 29.

It will be the first meeting between these two leaders after Indian Prime Minister Modi’s landmark victory in the parliamentary elections.

The groundwork for this meeting was laid on Wednesday by visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during their meet in New Delhi.

Indian security analyst Pravin Sawhney has said there were several issues that both leaders could discuss at the upcoming meeting in Osaka. 

Sputnik: What are your expectations for the meet between the US President and Indian Prime Minister to be held on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Japan?

Pravin Sawhney: Any meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi will be nothing more than optics…what matters are meetings like Pompeo coming to New Delhi before going to Osaka and other places etc. These are the guys who will be working on the real strategy.

Sputnik: Can you explain further what you mean when you say these guys will be working on the real strategy?

Pravin Sawhney:  As far as the US Administration is concerned, they are very much aware that their president may not be or is not completely in line with their institutional thinking. The American institutional thinking and strategy are not in line, but because Trump is the president, he has to be listened to.

Sputnik: Oil imports from Iran could be one of the key issues at the top of this week’s US-India talks. How do you see it panning out?

Pravin Sawhney: As far as Iran is concerned, we seem to be under a lot of pressure there, but I am not sure whether this issue will be deliberated upon during the Pompeo visit because, for us (India), regional cooperation is the core. If we let down Iran today, we have very heavy stakes. You know we have stakes in Chabahar (a port in Iran), we have stakes on an entire route outside Pakistan. Even our stakes in Afghanistan, they can be jeopardised because Iran has a clear presence everywhere in that part of the world.

Sputnik: How would you respond to alleged US pressure on India to put curbs on Chinese 5G technology?

Pravin Sawhney: Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, has already said the government is still deliberating on which 5G technology to accept, whether it is Huawei or some other- we don’t know as yet, trials are ongoing. This decision-making process could take at least another year. So, I don’t think there is too much pressure at this stage.

Sputnik: How important is this issue to the Americans?

Pravin Sawhney: The Americans see this as a very important issue and probably feel that if they keep the pressure on India over the 5G deal with Chinese information technology major Huawei; they may be able to dissuade India from maybe going ahead with the S-400 missile deal too.

5G technology has both trade and military implications. For a country like India to go in for 5G with Huawei… we are a huge market and an entire supply chain comes to us. The simple thing is that Americans could lose trade value.

We need to be very clear; Americans today to my mind want India more than the other way around. They are just trying to get the best deal out of India. These are the usual American pressure tactics and nothing more than that.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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