Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of Asia Programme at Wilson Centre talking to ANI about Trump's Motera address on Tuesday.
Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of Asia Programme at Wilson Centre talking to ANI about Trump's Motera address on Tuesday.

Trump's Motera speech was similar to Modi's 2016 US Congress address: Foreign policy expert

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2020 06:32 IST

Washington DC [USA], Feb 25 (ANI): US President Donald Trump's speech at the 'Namaste Trump' event was a reminder of Narendra Modi's joint address to the US Congress in June 2016, in which he invoked cultural icons like baseball and Abraham Lincoln, said Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of Asia Programme at Wilson Centre.
"Trump's speech reminded me of the speech Modi made at the Congress in Washington a few years ago in a joint address to Congress when he was talking about baseball and Abraham Lincoln which went of very well," Kugelman told ANI following Trump's address at the 'Namaste Trump' event at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
in his speech, Trump made a special mention to Indian cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.
Kugelman also said: "It (speech) demonstrated strong awareness and understanding and empathy of India's political history. The fact the Trump was invoking all these cultural icons. Cleary his speechwriter had done their homework in understanding their audience."
Commenting over the much-talked-about Modi-Trump chemistry, he said, "You hear so often in the US-India relationship this notion of chemistry between the leaders. We heard it about George W Bush and Manmohan Singh and we heard it about Barack Obama and Manmohan Singh."
"They are not soulmates but clearly they seem to get along well. They have a lot of things in common, particularly in their politics," he added.
Over the issue of a possible waiver on Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), he said, "I think this whole CAATSA thing has been the whole elephant in the room in US-India relations in the whole and certainly this Trump visit to India."
"My sense is that the Trump administration would rather give India a waiver and it does not want to sanction India," he added.
He further said: "I think for the US the optics of slapping sanction on a country that it regards as its biggest strategic partners not only in Asia but in the world, the optics will be very problematic. I think it is just a matter of time before there is a waiver."
On the reference of China in Trump's speech, he said, "One thing that brings this partnership together is the shared concern about China. Both the nations may have different ways in which they believe they should go about the China challenge but both agree that China's issue is a challenge that needs to be tackled.
"Concern about China is an issue that really binds this (US-India) partnership," he added.
On the expectation for Day Two of Trump's visit, he said: "Day 2 is where the rain business begins. On day one it was the spectacle. Now we will have the substance on Day 2. I think one of the main issues for both Modi and Trump would be to figure out how to move forward on the issue of Trade front."
"It remains to be seen, how Trump and Modi will pitch their public messaging in a way they will show positives about the trade issue, given how much of a disappointment it was for the two leaders and the relationship that there was not a trade deal during the Trump visit," he said.
On the mention of Pakistan in the speech, he said, "The reference to Pakistan was the only blemish to which was otherwise a pitch-perfect speech. It is always risky to bring out Pakistan in a positive context. But that what Trump did by saying that relationship with Pakistan is improving and things will be okay."
"Trump conveyed in the speech that he managed to tackle terrorism in Pakistan, in order to do that he had to make the relationship with Pakistan work better," he added. (ANI)

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