PM Modi, Trump pledge to increase bilateral economic cooperation


Asserting that the fight against terrorism is the top priority for him and US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that both the leaders discussed increasing radicalisation and extremism.

Later, Trump and Modi had a working dinner, the first time Trump has played host to a foreign dignitary at a White House dinner.

Modi specially invited Trump's daughter Ivanka to lead the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India later this year. Mr Modi said, it is further underpinned by faith in the strength of our multicultural societies that have defended our values at all costs, including the supreme sacrifices we have made in distant corners of the globe.

Unlike his predecessor, who often touted joint efforts between the US and India to fight climate change, Mr. Trump skirted the issue entirely Monday, instead focusing on how America can export fuel, technology, and expertise to the developing country.

President Donald Trump is kicking off an afternoon of meetings at the White House with India's prime minister.

Through a translator, Modi said that their meeting "will mark a very important page in the history of collaboration and cooperation between our two nations". Trump's "America First" slogan echoes Modi's own "Make in India" campaign. Paramount in their discussions are the issues of trade, security, energy and immigration, as well as regional issues between India and Pakistan. "India and the United States will always be tied together in friendship and respect", he said.

After their talks, Modi and Trump will make statements in the Rose Garden.

Trump also noted that both the US and India have been affected by the "evils of terrorism" and the "radical ideology that drives them" before vowing to "destroy radical Islamic terrorism".

Writing about a growing convergence between India and the US, Prime Minister said, he expects the next few decades to be an even more remarkable story of ambitious horizons, convergent action and shared growth.

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Indian and American officials have done extensive preparatory work for the meeting between the two leaders that could set the course and character of bilateral ties for years to come.

Exports to the USA provide India its largest surplus with a trading partner - more than $24 billion in 2016 - for a country that ran a $105 billion trade deficit that year.

Both Modi and Trump run on economic nationalist platforms that could clash when it comes to trade talks, although both countries have similar concerns about China's rise as a global military power. The leaders will address the media from the Rose Garden.

"President Trump has welcomed me with huge warmth".

Foreign Secretary Mr S Jaishankar said the Indo-US joint statement, which called terrorism a "global scourge", also asked Islamabad to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Pathankot and other terror attacks to justice.

The State Department later announced that it was slapping sanctions on a senior figure in the Kashmiri separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

India is among the nations singled out by the Trump administration for their trade surpluses with the US, and it is also reviewing a visa program used heavily by skilled Indian workers.

Trump has focused on outreach to China, India's strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in North Korea.