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Trump calls India a 'true friend'; swaps invites with Modi during phone call

Last updated on: January 25, 2017 09:37 IST

America considers India a "true friend and partner", US President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone conversation during which they resolved to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" in the global fight against terrorism and work together for defence and security.

America considers India a "true friend and partner", US President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone conversation during which they resolved to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" in the global fight against terrorism and work together for defence and security.

During their conversation, the two leaders extended invitations to each other for visits.

"During a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world," the White House said in a statement.

"President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the US later this year," it said.

The two leaders discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the US and India in broad areas such as the economy and defence.

Besides this, they also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the US and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the global fight against terrorism, the statement said.

Modi, who is the fifth foreign leader Trump have spoken with over phone after being sworn-in as the new US President on January 20, said, they "agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties".

"Had a warm conversation with President @realDonaldTrump late last evening," the Prime Minister tweeted.

"Have also invited President Trump to visit India," Modi said.

After Trump surprised the world with his historic victory in the November 8 general elections, Modi was among the first world leaders to have congratulated Trump.

During his gruelling election campaign, India was among the few countries in addition to Israel with whom Trump spoke of strengthening ties if elected to power.

On January 21, Trump spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

On Sunday, Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Tuesday he had a telephonic conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

At a charity event organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition for the Kashmiri Pandit terror victims and the Bangladeshi Hindu victims in Edison on October 15, Trump, as the then Republican presidential nominee, had praised India's fast growth rate and Modi's bureaucratic and economic reforms.

"Under a Trump Administration, we are going to become even better friends, in fact I would take the term better out and we would be best friend," Trump had told a cheering crowd of Indian-Americans in Edison, New Jersey.

"I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi," he had said, adding that the Indian leader is very energetic.

"India is key and a key strategic ally," he had said.

Photograph: Reuters

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