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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

At White House meeting, Modi and Trump vow to crack down on terrorist groups

Narendra Modi and Donald Trump also agreed to continue strengthening coordination for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan as they expressed concern over instability in the country.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2017 08:55 IST

Yashwant Raj, Washington, Hindustan Times
US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embrace during a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embrace during a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC.(AFP)

India and the United States will step up cooperation significantly to ensure the defeat of terrorism and those who provide safe havens to terrorists, leaders of the two nations who held their first meetings on Monday said in remarks from the White House. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said terrorism was among the “top priorities” for both him and President Donald Trump, stressing their countries will increase cooperation in combating the menace.

“We are both determined to destroy terrorist organisations, and the radical ideology that drives them,” said Trump, adding, “We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”

The two leaders discussed an entire range of issues covering terrorism, defence and security cooperation and trade, first in a private one-on-one conversation and then in a wider meeting joined by their aides --- foreign secretary S Jaishankar and Indian ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna on the Indian side and vice-president Mike Pence, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and members of the Trump cabinet on the US side.

On trade, Trump said India should remove barriers to export of US goods, adding he would like to end the trade deficit in bilateral trade.

First lady Melania Trump and the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump came for the leaders’ remarks from the Rose Garden.

The Prime Minister had earlier invited Ivanka to attend a global summit of entrepreneurs India was hosting later in the year, and the President announced she had accepted the offer. Modi also invited Trump to visit India with his family.

The two leaders seemed to have settled into an easy relationship, as much as they could after their first meetings. They hugged twice during the Rose Garden event.

After receiving the Prime Minister, Trump said earlier in the day, “It’s a great honour to have Prime Minister Modi of India who has been such a great Prime minister...India is doing very well...So I’d like to congratulate you.”

He added in other remarks, “Thank you very much for the equipment, ordering equipment from the United States. Always makes us feel very good. There’s nobody makes military equipment like we make military equipment. Nobody even close so we want to thank you very much and we look forward to getting on with the meeting.”

Details of the defence purchase were awaited.

Modi, for his part, thanked the President and the first lady for “the grand welcome”. “This is the welcome of 1.25 billion people of India. I’m grateful to the honourable president and the first lady.”