US expected to clear surveillance drone sale to India

NEW DELHI | WASHINGTON: The United States is expected to authorize India’s purchase of a naval variant of the Predator drone, two sources familiar with the situation said, ahead of a visit next week by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try to revitalise ties in his first meeting with President Donald Trump.

Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones, worth more than $2 billion, is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defence ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing’s help to contain North Korea’s nuclear programme.

The deal would still require approval by Congress. California-based General Atomics, the maker of the Guardian drone sought by India, declined to comment.

Modi’s two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday. Trump met

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