Ahead of the meeting between Modi and Trump, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis separately called on the prime minister and discussed ways to step up counter-terrorism cooperation and reviewed the situation in Afghanistan.
Their White House session promises less pomp than Modi’s previous visits to Washington, which included former President Barack Obama taking him to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in 2014.
Trump, who often touts his own election win, is praising the victory, telling Modi, “You won by a lot”.
Trump went first, saying that he promised during his campaign that India would have “a true friend in the White House, and that is now exactly what you have“.
He said he had invited Trump to India but no time was given for a visit.
Thereafter the two leaders would be joined by their respective delegations in the adjoining Cabinet Room.
The two leaders pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the United States’ recognition of India as a Major Defence Partner, the statement said.
Modi and Trump also have very similar leadership style, said Telangana BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao in a blog post. In an even more ambitious vow, the country said it will aim to get 40 percent of its electric power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. But this is for the first time that Trump has hosted a foreign leader for a dinner at the White House.
India wants the U.S.to ensure visas for its skilled workers, including IT engineers. Middle East and the entire Gulf region is hugely significant for India as 80 per cent of its energy supplies come from there and any conflagration can prove to be disastrous, sources said.
Unlike his predecessor, who often touted joint efforts between the USA 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. This means that India now has access to a number of hi-tech American military equipment. “We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism”, he said. In a concrete indication of that, the U.S. State Department approved the $365 million sale of a C-17 military transport aircraft.
He says the two countries “agree on most things” and jokes that “by the end of the day we’ll agree on everything. I have a feeling”, he joked.
Modi harked back to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan to stress that his agenda for his country was little different than Trump’s. It is Modi’s fifth trip to the United States as prime minister.
The Prime Minister said that the world could have put India in the dock for carrying out the attack accoss the LoC. “We are also doing this by the way”, Trump said.
Modi says the two have a lot to discuss in their meetings Monday.
The two men’s talks at the White House will be followed by a cocktail reception and dinner.
“I would like to thank President Donald Trump for his kind words about India”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by Trump outside the South Portico of the White House.
Trump and Modi are expected to issue joint statements in the Rose Garden following their meetings. Counting overseas, Trump has so far met with 47 world leaders.
Modi’s political party named a Hindu monk known for anti-Muslim rhetoric as the leader of India’s biggest state, an act widely seen as an implicit endorsement of discriminatory attitudes.
“That enormous drive for renewable energy in India – there are enormous opportunities for the USA private sector to engage in that”, said Paula Caballero, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute. The first meeting was closely watched by one and all and all eyes were on the chemistry between Modi and the unpredictable Trump.
Mr Modi had some choice barbs for China, which of late has appeared to overcome its differences with the Trump administration over trade disputes and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.