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Opinion

Trump's India visit will disappoint Modi's expectations

US president wants to look tough, while India prime minister seeks strategic goals

| India

U.S. President Donald Trump's first visit to India on February 24-25 promises to be a dazzling event marked by a mammoth roadshow, a giant sports stadium rally and wall-to-wall media coverage. Trump's host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is making the egotistical American leader feel even more glorified than usual.

As 2020 is an election year in the U.S., Modi knows that Trump is looking to leverage made-for-television foreign visits for his domestic political image. But Trump's long-awaited India trip is not just a feel-good spectacle: the Modi government has been working round the clock to finalize a bilateral trade deal that settles outstanding disputes, but Trump has been stubborn and indicated that he is "saving the big deal for later."

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