Trump OKs $2 billion surveillance drone sale to India

The Trump administration has authorized the sale of unarmed surveillance drones to India, the manufacturer said Friday, as the two nations’ leaders prepare for their first face-to-face meeting.

India initiated its request to buy 22 Guardian MQ-9B unmanned aircraft for maritime surveillance last year. The deal is estimated to be worth about $2 billion. The offer is still subject to congressional approval.

The green light 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’s two-day visit to Washington, which starts Sunday, takes place amid uncertainty over the relationship because of differences on trade and other issues.

So far in his presidency, Trump has focused on outreach to China, India’s strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in North Korea. But Washington and New Delhi share concerns about China’s rise as

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