Washington DC (USA) | Jagran News Desk: Ahead of the much-awaited visit of Donald Trump, a senior US official said that Washington is concerned over the rights of minorities in India, adding that the President will raise these issues, especially religious freedom, when he meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While addressing a press briefing on Friday, the senior White House official noted that the US has great respect for India’s democratic traditions and institutions.

“President Trump will talk about our shared tradition of democracy and religious freedom both in his public remarks and then certainly in private. He will raise these issues, particularly the religious freedom issue, which is extremely important to this administration,” the senior US official said.

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The official was responding to a question on whether Trump will discuss about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with PM Modi.

“We are concerned with some of the issues that you have raised. And I think that the President will talk about these issues in his meetings with Prime Minister Modi and note that the world is looking to India to continue to uphold its democratic traditions, respect for religious minorities,” the official said.

“Of course, it's in the Indian constitution -- religious freedom, respect for religious minorities, and equal treatment of all religions. So this is something that is important to the president and I'm sure it will come up,” the official added.

‘Make in India’ makes discussion on trade difficult

The US official also said that ‘Make in India’ has made the discussion on trade between the two countries difficult. He said that the protectionism policy has been a concern for the US, adding that a number of announcements coming from India which are making the discussions more difficult perhaps.

“The recent one being the ‘Make in India’ announcement, (which) has made the protectionism concern even greater. There has been an increase and not a decrease of concerns and this would certainly come up among the leaders,” the official said.

US President Donald Trump will arrive on his maiden visit to India on February 24. US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner will be part of a 12-level delegation accompanying the US President during his visit.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma