India, Portugal launch startup hub in first Indian PM visit

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"The visit of Prime Minister Modi couldn't come at a more opportune time".

Modi said that it was "surprising for me to know that there had never been a bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Portugal".

Ahead of his visit, Prime Minister Modi on Friday said he will hold in-depth discussions with President Trump during his visit to Washington and hoped to build a forward-looking vision for partnership with the new administration.

The acceptance from the administration marks a further deepening in defense ties before India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday.

Modi is on two-day visit to the country from June 25 to June 26.

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India and Portugal also agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism and violent extremism, and also to set up a joint science and technology fund of four million euros, PM Modi said.

The briefing was the first substantive elaboration by the Trump administration of its India policy and the way forward.

Modi in second-leg of his visit will later on Saturday depart for the United States of America.

There are no plans to discuss the issue of H-1B visas, the skilled-worker program popular among many Silicon Valley companies.

"Some of the defence systems we're talking about we don't believe impact Pakistan", the official added.

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Defence deals are one area where the two countries could make progress because of bipartisan support, an Indian official involved in the preparations for the visit said. We see India's role and influence growing.

"During the campaign, he very much was in touch with the Indian American community", the official said of the president.

"Modi's top priority will be to establish a personal rapport with the U.S. president", Constantino Xavier, a foreign policy fellow at the Indian arm of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New Delhi, told The National. "You have effortlessly gelled with the culture of the country you have been", he said. The prime minister will also attend a reception thrown by the Indian community in Washington, DC.

As a pre-visit sweetener, the United States on Thursday approved the sale of 22 Guardian drones to the Indian air force, a deal worth $2bn to $3bn.

It not only provides an opportunity to connect with other members of the ecosystem but also gives access to important resources such as its learning and development programme, information about relevant government schemes, a forum to brainstorm and discuss, news and blogs among others, it said.

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India, a big buyer of USA arms recently named by Washington as a major defense ally, wants to protect its 7,500 km (4,700 mile) coastline as Beijing expands its maritime trade routes and Chinese submarines increasingly lurk in regional waters.

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