Modi presents OCI card to Portugal's Indian-origin PM Costa

The deal is estimated to be worth about $2 billion, various media reported Saturday.

The drones deal, combined with Lockheed Martin's recent announcement of a new joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems, signifies the rapid growth of US-India defence ties over the past decade, Ford added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to spend almost five hours with US President Donald Trump in order to know each other well, forge a strong personal bond and take forward a solid bilateral relationship when they meet at the White House on Monday. The US embassy in New Delhi said it was aware but referred further inquiries to Washington.

The Indian navy wants the variants on Predator drones to keep watch over the Indian Ocean, where China's naval presence is growing.

India has raised the issue of the drones with the Pentagon three times since June 2016, officials said. Received by Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva at the Lisbon airport, PM Modi is now on the first leg of his three nation tour.

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.

Modi will visit Portugal on Saturday before his trip to the U.S. on June 26 and is expected to be on a whirlwind tour to the Netherlands on June 27. In fact, the two (leaders) will have dinner, a working dinner at the White House.


USA officials expect a relatively low-key visit by Modi, without the fanfare of some of his previous trips to the United States, and one geared to giving the Indian leader the chance to get to know Trump personally and to show that he is doing so.

Trump has 32.7 million followers on Twitter to Modi's 30.9 million, but he trails the Indian leader by a wide margin on Facebook - with 23.6 million followers to Modi's 41.7 million.

He said Portugal has historical ties with India, but a special one with Gujarat and narrated the story of Kutch sailor Kanji Malam, who helped the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discover the sea route from Europe to India in 1497.

India's key concerns include Trump's decisions to pull out of the Paris climate accord and to review the H1B visa program, under which thousands of skilled Indian workers go to the United States.

There have been other at times weird overtures from India toward Trump and the U.S.

Yet Trump has been unpredictable with New Delhi so far.

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