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US President Donald Trump to meet PM Modi twice

In between those two meetings scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday, US President Trump will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Monday.

Updated: Sep 21, 2019 16:17:29

By Yashwant Raj

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump during a bilateral meeting in the sidelines of G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (PTI file photo)

The United States announced on Friday President Donald Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, which will be their second meeting in three days including the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston, on the opening day of the 74th UN general assembly debates.

In between those two meetings scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday, US President Trump will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Monday. They will be meeting only once, according to details of the president’s UNGA engagements announced by a senior administration official, and not twice as had been reported by Pakistani media citing officials.

President Trump is also hosting a reception on Tuesday for heads of delegations and governments, which Prime Minister Modi is skipping because he will be hosting at the same time an event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It’s a marquee event for India’s, to be attended by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, South Korea President Moon Jae-in and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon.

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Prime Minister Khan is probably attending Trump’s reception, which his officials might have chalked up as his second meeting with the American president just to counter the hype surrounding Modi’s two meetings with the American leader, specially the one in Houston, which Modi said in a message, rubbing it in, before leaving India, “would be a maiden appearance of US President in an Indian community event with me, and marks a new milestone in our outreach to them”.

Khan, who has sought to emulate Modi’s diaspora outreaches in scale and size, is expected to press Trump at their meeting to follow up on his offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute in pursuit of his single-point agenda, or “Mission Kashmir”, as the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, described it in a tweet Friday night, welcoming her Prime Minister.

Trump has moved on since, or so he clearly stated at a joint news briefing with Modi in Biarritz, on the sidelines of the G-7summit. He said he Modi told him he has “it under control”.

“I know they speak with Pakistan, and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” Trump had said.

And he has since then demonstrated uncharacteristic discipline to hold to that line, The US president has since demonstrated notable discipline in holding to that line.

But as anyone who has ever dealt with this White House knows, things can change with just a tweet or a remark.

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 10:20:08

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