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Indian PM Modi arrives for US visit

Narendra Modi has begun the trip by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary. He is due to meet US President Obama at the White House on Tuesday.

Modi arrived earlier Monday at Andrews Air Force Base for a three day visit that is expected to advance ties between the world's two largest democracies.

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3 questions, 3 answers: Obama to host India's Modi

As well as the wreath laying ceremony, he met with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch for an observance to mark the repatriation of over 200 artifacts to the Indian government.

On Tuesday, Modi will hold talks with US President Barack Obama during a working lunch at the White House. A new defense agreement is on the cards, along with furthering plans for American investment in India's nuclear power sector.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra and US Attorney General Lorreta Lynch

Modi and US Attorney General Lorreta Lynch

Defense and trade talks

Commentators think Obama is keen to boost relations with India - which have sometimes been strained - as part of his legacy, as he prepares to leave office in January.

The US is India's main arms supplier, with the New Delhi government spending $14 billion over the past five years.

Washington is keen to make inroads into India's huge market and boost US-India trade from $120 billion to $500 billion.

On Wednesday, Modi will become the fifth Indian premier to address a joint session of the US Congress, and afterwards will be hosted at a reception for dignitaries and lawmakers.

He will also meet US business leaders and members of the three million strong Indian-American community during his visit.

Modi is on a five-country trip with stops so far in Afghanistan, Qatar and Switzerland. After the US he goes to Mexico.

mm/bw (AFP, AP)

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