- “…I’m proud to announce…”
Five months into his presidency, President Donald Trump hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for dinner Monday, the first dinner with a foreign dignitary Trump has hosted at the White House.
During Modi’s visit to the United States, the two leaders shared hugs and agreed on the importance of working together on critical issues.
When Indian Prime Minister Modi met US President Trump. pic.twitter.com/6m7U0LOWsS
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 27, 2017
Calling Modi a “true friend,” Trump said his “historic and productive” meeting with the Indian leader was vital, adding that bond between India and the U.S. is “one of the most important strategic relationships in the 21st century.”
Modi shared Trump’s sentiment that the talks had been productive.
“President Trump, I thank you for your feelings of friendship towards India and myself. I deeply appreciate your strong commitment to the enhancement of our bilateral relations,” Modi said in the Rose Garden.
“I am sure that under your leadership, our mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights, and that your vast and successful experience in the business world will lend an aggressive and forward-looking agenda to our relations,” he added.
The Trump administration appears to be taking the opportunity to forge a stronger relationship with India, which has one of the largest economies in the world.
Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s remarks on how imperative it is for the two nations to work together on fighting terrorism and relaxing trade barriers in order to ensure the free flow of commerce.
“We truly believe, with great respect, that the time to act is now,” Pence said, highlighting the United States’ expanding security relationship with India.
“The United States will continue to enable the Indian armed forces to obtain the resources and technology it needs to protect the Indian people and support security in the region,” Pence said.
Pence noted that the U.S. has agreed to sell India Sea Guardian drones, Apache attack helicopters and C-17 transport aircraft in a process that he said was “underway as we speak.”
Later, the White House said that the president had secured a deal worth more than $2 billion with Modi that will offer India “the naval variant of the Predator drone made by U.S. defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems,” according to CNBC.
The White House indicated that the sales to India could increase bilateral defense trade to almost $19 billion.
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Source: Western Journalism