Trump and Modi hold first talks at White House

Trump and Modi hold first talks at White House

Trump said it was “a great honour” to host Modi “who has been such a great PM”.

Modi described his talks with Trump as “extremely important”, hailing a bilateral relationship that is based on mutual trust and shared values.

“I will also call on King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and meet Queen Maxima”, he had said in a Facebook post before leaving on his three-nation trip. “I am sure that under your leadership a mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positively, and will reach new heights”.

India is the fastest growing economy in the world Trump said and added, “We hope we will be catching up you very soon”. A year ago the United States trade deficit with India neared $31 billion.

Trump said that he looked forward to working with Modi to create jobs in both countries, to grow both economies, and to create a trading relationship that was fair and reciprocal.

President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a show of friendship-at-first-sight in their initial face-to-face meeting at the White House on Monday, vowing enhanced military cooperation and intelligence sharing in the global fight against terrorism.

In comments on trade, Trump said that it was “important that barriers be removed to the export of United States goods into your market and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country”.

Trump’s assertion of his commitment to the India-US partnership and the US State Department move are being seen as key to solidifying the India-US strategic relationship against the backdrop of Trump assuming office as US President and his seeming penchant for riling almost all traditional allies and partners of the US since taking office on 20 January.

President Donald Trump addressed a joint statement along with PM Narendra Modi after a series of meetings.

Ahead of his visit, Modi had said he looked forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views. Before his meeting with Trump, PM Modi had said,”I remember very well when he (Trump) was not even the President and he visited India in 2014 and when media asked him about me, he was full of very warm remarks and observations about me”. The decision to buy “Sea Guardian” drones from U.S. was also finalised by India during the talks.

As they met, a Pentagon agency said the US State Department has approved the possible sale to India of a Boeing C-17 transport aircraft with an estimated cost of $366 million.

“As global nonproliferation partners, the United States expressed strong support for India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group”.

“The top priority for both President Trump and myself is to protect our society from global challenges like terrorism”, Modi said.

Trump administration officials have pointed to both leaders’ impact on social media – each has more than 30 million Twitter followers – as proof they are cut from the same cloth.

“If the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted”, said an Indian official. How much up we go depends on the leaders. “If they click, we go up higher”.

Praising the U.S. as a valued partner in India’s flagship programmes, Prime Minister Modi asserted that eliminating safe havens of terror and bring stability to Afghanistan was the major priority of both nations. The administration is also set to offer a $2 billion sale of USA -made unarmed drones to help in surveillance of the Indian Ocean.

“You have done a great job economically and you are doing well in so many ways”.