Trump talks to Modi

Donald Trump tells Narendra Modi he considers India a ‘true friend’

President Donald Trump is reported to have invited Modi to visit the United States later this year, during a phone call on Tuesday, four days after the Republican President took oath as the 45th President of the US. During the call, “President Trump emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

Trump spoke with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a call last week, one of the few world leaders the new US President has spoken to since taking office on January 20th.

According to a White House statement, Trump emphasized that Washington considers India a “true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world.”  The new US leader also said he was looking forward to welcoming Modi in the US later this year.

Modi’s a frequent visitor to the US; he’s made four official visits since he assumed office in 2014. Last June marked the seventh time he had met former President Barack Obama.  On the call, Trump and Modi were said to have discussed opportunities to strengthen their partnership on the economy and defense, though no details were given. They also discussed security in south and central Asia, a region that encompasses Pakistan and Afghanistan, and resolved to “stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism.”

The leaders discussed economic and defense co-operations and regional security issues, the White House said in a statement. He was the fifth word leader President Trump spoke to after coming to office. The two men expected to find common ground going forward on terrorism and security, particularly in regard to the terrorist threat from neighboring Pakistan, experts said.

PM Modi was one of the first leaders to congratulate President Trump after his victory in the November elections and the inauguration last week. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister had said he looked forward to working with President Trump to “further deepen” India-US ties and “realise the full potential of our cooperation”.

President Trump, whose “Buy American, Hire American” policy and plans to clamp down on H-1B visas has caused some unease in the Indian IT industry, has so far been positive about India. During his election campaign, he mentioned India as the only other nation besides Israel, with which he wanted to strengthen ties. Expressing personal admiration for PM Modi, Trump had called him a “great man” who was “very energetic in reforming India’s bureaucracy”.

Trump also said he had “great confidence” in India. “Generations of Indian and Hindu Americans have strengthened our country…your values of hard work, education and enterprise have truly enriched our nation.”

 

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