US President Donald Trump will meet Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday a day after joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Texas’ Houston on Sunday.
Trump will then again hold talks with PM Modi in New York on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, a senior administration official told reporters on Friday in a preview of Trump’s engagements in New York next week.
Trump is expected to arrive in New York on Sunday night after his participation with PM Modi at the “Howdy Modi” event in Houston where the two leaders will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.
Meanwhile, India has termed Donald Trump’s decision to attend the community event as “historic” and “unprecedented”.
White House officials told PTI that a request was made by Prime Minister Modi to President Trump when the two met in France last month on the sidelines of the G-7 summit.
Trump, who enjoys great chemistry and friendship with Modi, “immediately accepted” the invitation to join him in Houston and directed his officials and secret service.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the Modi-Trump joint rally will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.
More than 50,000 Indian-Americans from across the US have registered for the mega “Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures” event to be held at the sprawling NRG Stadium in Houston.
The live audience will be the largest ever for an Indian Prime Minister in North America and also the largest for a foreign leader in the US other than Pope Francis.
This would also be the first time that an American president would be addressing thousands of Indian-Americans at one place in the US.
This will be Modi’s third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the prime minister in 2014 and the first after his re-election in May.
The previous two were at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and the Silicon Valley in 2016. Both the events were attended by more than 20,000 people.
Following the “Howdy, Modi!” event, the US president will then travel to Ohio where he will be joined by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“President Donald J Trump will be travelling to Houston for ‘Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams Bright Futures’ event. That will be the day wherein he will travel on to Ohio where he will be joined by Prime Minister Morrison of Australia where they will visit Pratt industry and celebrate US economic relationship with Australia,” the official said.
On Monday (September 23), the first day of his stay in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, Trump’s first event will be the global call to protect religious freedom, the official said, describing it as a key event.
“After that the President is scheduled to meet with the following leaders. Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, President (Andrzej Sebastian) Duda of Poland, Prime Minister (Jacinda) Arden of New Zealand, Prime Minister Lee (Hsien Loong) from Singapore, President al Sisi of Egypt and President Moon (Jae-in) of South Korea,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday (September 24), Trump will deliver his address to the UN General Assembly. After that, he will hold a number of bilateral meetings.
“Prime Minister (Boris) Johnson of United Kingdom, Prime Minister Modi of India, the UN Secretary General,” the official said, adding that the president will also meet his Iraqi counterpart and end the day with a diplomatic reception.
The meeting on the sidelines of UNGA will be the fourth Modi-Trump meet in as many months.
The meeting in New York is expected to set the tone of bilateral relationship between the two countries over the next few years.
The two leaders are likely to discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including efforts to address the growing bilateral trade disputes, potential defence and energy deals and peace process in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan are scheduled to speak at the UNGA. With Khan declaring his resolve to highlight Kashmir in his speech, India is gearing up to rebut him point by point.
Pakistan has been attempting to internationalise the Kashmir issue following the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
PM Modi left for a week-long visit to the US on Friday and has voiced confidence that his visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader, and also help impart new energy to bilateral ties with the US.