United States President Donald Trump gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a guided tour of his residence in the White House, including the Lincoln bedroom on Monday.
Nor did Modi mention immigration issues amid speculation that the Trump administration could cut H-1B visas for high-tech workers, visas that have benefited India.
However, contrary to widespread expectation, the joint statement, which was issued post Modi’s meeting with Trump and other senior USA officials, had no mention of the issues pertaining to the temporary work visas H1B that has rattled the Indian IT industry.
During the delegation-level meeting, the two leaders touched upon various topics ranging from purchase of military equipment to the bilateral relations between the two nations.
While Trump’s relations with some traditional allies have got off to rocky start, he and Modi appeared to strike up an immediate rapport in their first meeting, with the pair exchanging hugs in the White House Rose Garden in front of reporters.
“The relationship between India has never been better and stronger”, Trump added.
Modi lavished praise on Trump and his family – including first lady Melania Trump, who had joined the president in greeting Modi’s arrival on the South Lawn, and daughter Ivanka Trump, whom Modi said would lead the USA delegation to a global entrepreneur’s summit in India.
“I am here to speak for the Indian church”, said Bishop John Lutembeak, a missionary in India, “The Indians who are being persecuted by Prime Minister Mohdi, by a group of radical Hindus”.
Modi is likely to have presented Trump with an original commemorative postal stamp that was issued by India 52 years ago in 1965 on the death centenary of Abraham Lincoln.
The Prime Minister said that trade, commerce and investment were key areas of cooperation between the two sides. India is also purchasing $365 million worth of military transport aircraft with another $2 billion sale of USA made unarmed drones to be finalized soon.
President Trump also said that both the countries will work towards eradicating radical Islamic terrorism.
During the joint press briefing, President Trump also showered praise on PM Modi for his leadership skills. Trump extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Modi even as he, along with First Lady Melania, received him at the White House earlier in the day.
Modi and Trump vowed to strengthen efforts to fight terrorism and eliminate safe havens for terrorists.
“We re here today basically to raise awareness of the human rights violations that are happening with India”, Jatinder Grewal, Director of Sikhs for Justice told CBN News.
“The security partnership between the USA and India is incredibly important”.
The designation of Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist marks a diplomatic victory for India, which has been battling a decades-long insurgency by separatist groups in Kashmir, a Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both.
“It is important that barriers be removed to the export of U.S. goods into your markets, and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country”, he stated.
In the Rose Garden, several television reporters, seated behind three rows of Trump aides, including Ivanka Trump and Vice President Pence, shouted questions to the president about the health-care bill.
“If this is not a major outcome of PM’s visit to the USA for the Congress Party, this is a clear evidence of disorientation that this party is suffering from with its growing irrelevance and mounting frustration”, he added.