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Before UNGA, Trump may come for Modi Houston show

Before UNGA, Trump may come for Modi Houston show

US President Donald Trump may travel to Houston, the energy capital of the world, for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22, The Sunday Express has learnt.

Modi has mainly two engagements in Houston — addressing the NRI community at a stadium and a roundtable meeting with CEOs and top executives of US energy companies.

Before arriving in New York for the UN General Assembly, Modi is scheduled to address the Indian diaspora in Houston on September 22. "Howdy, Modi!", the Indian-American community summit, will be hosted by the Texas India Forum, a Houston-based non-profit.

New Delhi and Washington are exploring the possibility of Trump attending both these events or at least one of them. If he attends the diaspora event, which is expected to be a gathering of about 50,000 people, it will be a first for an American President.

When Modi addressed the NRI community at Madison Square Garden in New York in September 2014, US Congressmen had also attended the event. It is expected that some members of the US Congress are also likely to attend the event this time in Houston as well.

The other possibility is that Trump will attend the energy CEOs roundtable with Modi, especially since his focus has been creating jobs and boosting US trade with other countries.

This is also relevant since India has started importing energy from the US and it was worth about $4 billion last year and India wants to step it up. The idea of having the roundtable is to explore how India can import more energy from the US and how Indian companies can invest more in the US.

When the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, Modi had briefed Trump about this plan. This was "welcomed by Trump", and the US President was happy that India had become a major importer of energy from the US, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said. Trump had even instructed top US officials to visit Houston to facilitate the process.

Besides this plan, New Delhi and Washington are also discussing the possibility of scheduling a visit to Washington DC for a meeting of the two leaders at the White House.

Modi is likely to leave for the US on September 21 and will first travel to Houston and then to New York from September 23 to 27.

The Sunday Express has learnt that Delhi and Washington are looking at September 25 and September 26 as possible dates for the visit and a bilateral meeting between the two leaders.

The Prime Minister will address the annual UNGA session on September 27 and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to follow hours later.

(Inputs from The Indian Express)

Agencies

Agencies

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