Trump India visit: talks underway for trip to New Delhi

If finalized, the visit would be Trump’s first to India as president. The United States has sought to cultivate India as a partner and potential counterweight to China, and Trump has spoken of his “great admiration” for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump administration officials have struck a cautious tone since the law was passed. The United States cares “deeply and always will about protecting minorities,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month in response to a question on the citizenship measure. India is having “robust debate” on the issue, he said.

News of the potential visit by Trump to India was first reported by the Hindustan Times and the Hindu, two Indian newspapers.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment and referred questions to the White House. In response to inquiries Tuesday morning, the White House also declined to comment.

The “two sides are in touch” and “trying to work out a mutually convenient date,” said one Indian official. Another said the visit could take place in February or March.

Last year, Trump withdrew a preferential trade status for certain Indian goods in a sign of U.S. displeasure, and India retaliated with tariff hikes of its own. Since then, the two countries have engaged in talks to bridge their trade differences but have yet to resolve them.

The last American president to visit India was Barack Obama. He traveled to New Delhi twice during his time in office, first in 2010 and again in 2015, when he participated in India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

Josh Dawsey in Washington contributed to this report.

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