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On phone call with Modi, Trump discussed peace across Indo-Pacific region, N Korea

US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to greet him on Independence Day.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2017 23:31 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Narendra Modi,Donald Trump,Independence Day
US President Donald Trump (right) talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they attend a working session during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 8, 2017.(AFP FILE)

India and the United States will start a new 2-by-2 bilateral dialogue involving the Indian external affairs and defence ministers and their American counterparts “to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region” and elevate strategic consultations.

The announcement came after a phone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, who had called to congratulate the Indian leader on the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence. This was their fourth phone conversation since Trump’s election last November.

“The leaders resolved to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue that will elevate their strategic consultations,” the White House said in a statement early on Tuesday morning.

The White House also announced the first shipment of American crude oil to India, which, it said will occur from Texas this month, “pledging that the United States would continue to be a reliable, long-term supplier of energy”.

Modi thanked Trump, the statement further said, for “his strong leadership uniting the world against the North Korean menace”.

The two ministers in the new 2-by-2 dialogue will be, according to officials who spoke only on background, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Arun Jaitley and their American counterparts Rex Tillerson and James Mattis.

No dates were announced for their first meeting or the venue.

This 2-by-2 will replace the earlier 2-by-2 that the external affairs minister and commerce minister had with their American counterparts as part of the strategic and commercial bilateral dialogue, which the countries have been hosting in alternating years.

The two leaders also said they looked forward to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit their countries were hosting jointly in India in November. Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump is leading the American delegation.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 17:18 IST