US President Donald Trump could visit India next month, with both sides said to be discussing a range of dates including one in February, news reports said on Tuesday.
Visit could take place as early as the second half of February. However, the timing will depend on the duration of the US Senate trial, expected to start this week, to determine if Trump should be removed from office in impeachment proceedings, the report quoting the person said. The White House has declined to comment on the matter.
So far, Trump has been positive about visiting India, with people familiar with the matter saying that planning has picked up for the visit along with progress in trade talks where a deal between the two sides is said to be close to being finalised.
An invite to Trump to visit India was extended when prime minister Narendra Modi visited Washington in June 2017.
New Delhi had requested Trump attend India’s Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest in 2019 but the White House in a statement had then said the president was unable to participate due to scheduling constraints.
India’s invitation to Trump was reiterated last month when defence minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar called on Trump after a meeting with their American counterparts Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo at the second India-US “2+2″ dialogue.
Outgoing Indian ambassador to Washington Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Trump in a farewell visit last week before leaving Washington to take up his next assignment as foreign secretary. It is unclear whether Shringla had spoken to Trump on the matter during the call on.