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Successive US presidents have tried to woo India to counterbalance China's growing regional clout.Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in April to enlist help on halting North Korea's nuclear arms programme, but managing Beijing's rise remains a priority for the US and India, said Kugelman.
There are enough "fault lines" between Trump and Modi to roll back progress."It will become more transactional: 'I buy from you, you buy from me'," Pande told Al Jazeera.Anubhav Gupta, from the Asia Society Policy Institute, said Trump "badly needs an opportunity to bolster his presidency", which has been rocked by claims that his campaign staff colluded with Russia to tip last year's election in his favour.Lockheed Martin, a US military aerospace firm, is negotiating with India's Tata Advanced Systems to shift production of F-16 fighter jets from the US to India as part of a deal to supply the Indian Air Force with hundreds of new aircraft.Washington is also set to confirm the sale of 22 unarmed Guardian drones, a naval variant of the Predator, which New Delhi wants to deploy to Indian Ocean waters where China is expanding trade routes and sending submarines."If approved, India will become the first non-NATO country permitted to buy hi-tech, unmanned Guardian drones, and the US would net an estimated $2-3bn, which will doubtless smooth the path for closer cooperation," Lindsey Ford, a former adviser to the US Department of Defense, told Al Jazeera. Both leaders vehemently decry "Islamist extremism". Trump may ask Modi to formally join the US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS); Modi may call for tougher US action against anti-India fighters in Pakistan.
OPINION: India is fast becoming a one-party state Trickier issues - such as Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan - may be skirted around.
The other eats steaks like they're going out of fashion.
This does not mean that Monday's first meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will be awkward.
"India's fast-growing, increasingly open economy offers big opportunities for the US …
but success hinges on whether Trump's team can focus enough attention on India and decide whether and how it wants to upgrade ties," Gupta told Al Jazeera.
Such similarities can come in handy when they get down to business in White House talks on everything from arms, trade and visas, to global and regional security challenges.