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Modi leaves on three-nation visit, to meet Trump


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday left on a three-nation tour that will take him to the US for his first meeting with US President Donald Trump. He will also visit Portugal and the Netherlands.

Modi will visit Portugal on Saturday before his trip to the US on June 26 and is expected to be on a whirlwind tour to the Netherlands on June 27.

“PM @narendramodi emplaned for Portugal, after which he shall visit USA and Netherlands for important bilateral visits,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) wrote on Twitter.

Ahead of his visit, Prime Minister Modi on Friday said he will hold in-depth discussions with President Trump during his visit to Washington and hoped to build a forward-looking vision for partnership with the new administration.

The Prime Minister said the visits were aimed at enhancing bilateral engagement in various areas.

He said India’s partnership with the United States is multi-layered and diverse, supported by not just governments but all the stakeholders on both sides.

“I look forward to building a forward-looking vision for our partnership with the new administration in the United States under President Trump,” Modi said.

“I look forward to this opportunity to have an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating the robust and wide-ranging partnership between India and the United States,” he said.

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Trump became US President earlier this year.

The Prime Minister said that apart from his official meetings with Trump and his Cabinet colleagues, he will meet some prominent American CEOs and the large Indian diaspora.

Referring to his visit to Portugal, Modi said he was looking forward to his meeting with Prime Minister Antonio Costa and there was significant potential for deepening bilateral trade and investment ties.

The Prime Minister said the historical and friendly ties between the two countries have picked up momentum after Costa’s visit to India in January 2017.

Modi said the two countries will review the progress of various joint initiatives and discuss ways to further enhance bilateral engagement, specially in areas such as economic cooperation, science and technology, and space collaboration.

“We will deliberate on means to intensify our cooperation in counter-terrorism and on other international issues of mutual interest,” Modi said, adding that he was keen to interact with the Indian community in Portugal.

Referring to his visit to the Netherlands on June 27, Modi said he will have an official meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and exchange views on important global issues, including counter-terrorism and climate change.

“I look forward to meeting Prime Minister Rutte and reviewing our bilateral relations,” Modi said.

Modi will also call on King Willem-Alexander and meet Queen Maxima.

Modi said the Netherlands is India’s sixth largest trading partner in the European Union and fifth largest investment partner globally.

He said the Dutch expertise in areas like water and waste management, agriculture, food processing, renewable energy, and ports and shipping, matches with India’s development needs.

“India-Dutch economic engagement is a win-win proposition. I will discuss with PM Rutte as to how the two sides should work to further harness the synergies,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said he will meet CEOs of major Dutch companies and will encourage them to join the Indian growth story.

Modi said there were strong people-to-people relations between India and the Netherlands due to the presence of the second largest Indian diaspora in Europe in that country.

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