U.S. President Trump and India’s Prime Minister Modi Pledge to Boost Security and Trade Ties

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs President Donald Trump as Modi departs the White House, June 26, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are pledging to work together to boost security and trade ties.

The two countries “look forward to working together on advanced defense equipment and technology at a level commensurate with that of the closest allies and partners of the United States,” according to a White House statement issued Monday evening.

Declaring his talks with the president “very successful and very fruitful,” the visiting Indian prime minister gave his host a trademark bear hug in the White House Rose Garden when the two finished reading their respective statement. They did not take questions from the dozens of White House correspondents and the visiting Indian reporters.

Modi also announced increased cooperation on fighting terrorism, including enhanced sharing of intelligence.

“The top priority for both President Trump and I is to protect our societies from global challenges like terrorism, and our aim is to strengthen India and the United States, the two great democracies of the world,” Modi said alongside Trump.

The U.S. president said New Delhi and Washington can set an example for many other nations and make great strides in defeating common threats.

“We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” said the president.

Indian officials expressed appreciation for the U.S. designation of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Trump and Modi, according to the White House statement, called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries and requested Islamabad “expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.”

Combining both the security and economic relationship, an expected multi-billion-dollar deal for American surveillance drones for the Indian Navy will make a dent in the $24 billion trade imbalance in India’s favor.

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SOURCE: VOA News, Steve Herman