Even India's Hindu nationalist prime minister is worried about Donald Trump's xenophobia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
(Image credit: Justin Tallis/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The decades-long cold shoulder India has given the United States appears to be thawing as Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to make his second visit to the White House in as many years — and it might all be thanks to Donald Trump.

India is beginning to get nervous that a President Trump would not be as friendly toward the nation as President Obama has been, The New York Times reports. And although Trump hasn't singled India out specifically, Indian officials are already fretting about his promises to tighten American immigration policies.

"Modi wants to get as much as he can out of Obama's last months in office," said Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Among the forthcoming agreements, Modi is expected to formally announce that India will comply with the Paris climate change agreement. The pact is only binding once countries representing 55 percent of global emissions comply, and the addition of India will guarantee the deal goes into effect before the next U.S. president takes office. Trump, however, has sworn he will "cancel" the Paris agreement, despite the fact that once the accord is legalized, no nation can withdraw for four years.

"If the Paris agreement achieves ratification before Inauguration Day, it would be impossible for the Trump administration to renegotiate or even drop out during the first presidential term," Harvard environmental economics director Robert N. Stavins said.

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