US Senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner wrote in March to Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying the Guardian deal, estimated at more than US$2 billion, would advance US national security interests and protect US jobs. Congressman George Holding, Co-Chair of the House India Caucus, will offer his perspective on the India-US relationship.
There is a "historic opportunity" for the United States to partner with India during Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit, a top American think tank said today, urging the Trump administration to assist New Delhi in enhancing its defence capabilities.
"As in the past, I look forward to interacting with the Indian diaspora in the United States as well", Modi said.
The two leaders would have wide-ranging discussion and they would not be limited by a strictly laid down agenda when they meet in person for the first time in Washington DC, he said. That's according to a congressional aide and an industry representative speaking to The Associated Press.
India will focus on building and strengthening chemistry with United States during this meeting. But Washington and New Delhi share concerns about China's rise as a military power.
Earlier report said that if the Indian Navy gets the unarmed surveillance drones it wants to keep watch over the Indian Ocean it would be the first such purchase by a country that is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance.
According to news reports ahead of Modi's visit, India is said to be seeking a $ 2 billion arms deal with the usa that could see Asia's third-largest economy and one of the largest arms importers in the world purchase 22 unarmed Predator drones.
A congressional staffer familiar with the matter confirmed the administration has approved the sale.
Sources say there is some concern in the State Department that if India were to get the surveillance drones New Delhi would renew its push to acquire armed drones, which its military has eyed ever since they were deployed by U.S. forces against militants in Pakistan.
A senior White House official said Friday that the U.S.is interested in providing India the kind of high technology it provides to its closest allies and defense partners.
Defense deals are one area where the two countries could make progress because of bipartisan support, an Indian official involved in the preparations for the visit said.
He said India's partnership with the U.S. was multi-layered and diverse, supported by not just governments but all the stakeholders on both sides. The South Asian nation, which has traditionally bought most of its defense equipment from Russian Federation, is looking to upgrade its capabilities.
This time, the big question mark is over the current US leader's view of American ties with India.
Ashley Tellis, an expert on South Asia at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the US decision to offer the Guardian aircraft to India is significant as the USA has a standing policy of declining export of such advanced drones other than to allies involved in combined operations with USA forces.
"So, again", Rotola says, "U.S".
Modi, a Hindu nationalist, will be making his fourth visit to the US since he took office in 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 in his Lok Sabha election campaign had promised that if he would be voted to power, for every new law passed in the parliament, his government will repeal 10 obsolete central laws.
Media reports have it that the Trump administration is exploring hardening its approach towards Pakistan and crack down on Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in Afghanistan.
But there could be increased strains on trade issues. "Strong India-USA ties benefit our nations & the world", Mr. Modi said in a Twitter post. Another potentially thorny issue: the Trump administration's review of the visa program for bringing to the USA highly skilled foreign workers. Modi's visit comes against the backdrop of Trump's announcement to withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Climate Agreement signed by over 190 other countries. In making the announcement, the USA president said New Delhi had made its participation "contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid". As freakish as these laws may seem, they were part of archaic or antiquated laws that continued in our law books despite India being on its 70th year post Independence.