Trump planning first India visit in February, says official

US President Donald Trump turned down an invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in 2019.
US President Donald Trump turned down an invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump is planning his maiden India visit in February, an official said, that may coincide with an impeachment trial that is likely to get under way in Washington next week.

The two countries are in touch to work out mutually convenient dates for the visit, according to a senior Indian government official who asked not to be identified, citing rules.

Mr Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to sign an agreement on civil aviation, apart from the long-pending bilateral trade deal, The Hindu newspaper reported, citing sources it did not identify.

The visit will come as India faces the slowest economic growth since 2009 and rising social unrest against Mr Modi's government, which has been pushing its Hindu nationalist agenda through new laws that are widely seen as discriminating against Muslims.

It follows Mr Modi's trip to the United States in September, where he walked hand-in-hand with Mr Trump at a rock concert-like event in Houston in a move that analysts expected would help to ease trade tensions between the two countries.

Mr Trump last year turned down an invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, according to reports.