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Modi and Trump to Hold Talks on Trade and Defence on Feb 25; Won't Rush into Signing a Trade Deal, Say Sources

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump.

India and US do not want to rush into finalising a trade deal and the decision will be taken keeping in mind the long-term prospects, news agency PTI reported.

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump, who will be on his maiden two-day visit to India on Monday, will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said. The two leaders will discuss a host of issues, including trade and defence.

Talking about the bilateral relations between the two countries, Shringla said, "India and the US have unprecedented level of convergence."

However, the two nations do not want to rush into finalising a trade deal and the decision will be taken keeping in mind the long-term prospects, news agency PTI reported.

Sources said that India and the US do not want to rush into finalise a trade deal and both sides will make a decision keeping in mind the long-term view. Some defence deals may fructify during Trump's visit, they added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump indicated that a major bilateral trade deal during his visit might not be on the cards, saying he is "saving the big deal" for later and he "does not know" if it will be done before the presidential election in November.

The two nations could sign a "trade package" during the visit, said media reports. Asked whether he expects a trade deal before the visit, Trump said, "We're doing a very big trade deal with India. We'll have it. I don't know if it'll be done before the election, but we'll have a very big deal with India."

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the point-person for trade negotiations with India, is likely to not accompany Trump to India, sources said. However, officials have not ruled it out altogether.

Shringla on Wednesday said that Trump will be accompanied by a high-level delegation on his visit, adding that the 'Namaste Trump' event in Ahmedabad will be similar to the 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston last September.

"The president's route to the airport will have several artistes perform and a presentation from 27 states. The procession from the airport to Motera stadium would be called the India roadshow," Shringla said.

Modi will host a lunch for Trump, while President Ram Nath Kovind will host a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary, he said.