Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Personal chemistry key as Trump meets India PM for 1st time

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump vowed to fight terrorism and further the Indo-US economic partnership in short statements given after an official meeting in the White House on Monday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi sat down for delegation-level talks with Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

At the White House portico, they exchanged pleasantries and had a brief interaction before going inside for the summit meeting.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to say whether Modi had requested that the leaders not take questions or if it was Trump's decision. It is Modi's fifth trip to the United States as prime minister.

"I deeply appreciate your strong commitment to the enhancement of our bilateral relations", Modi told him. He has done a great job, economically, and is doing well in so many ways. "I would like to congratulate him for this", he said in brief comments.

Commentators had predicted that Trump and Modi would find much in common, with both men having won power by portraying themselves as establishment outsiders.

"It is a welcome to 125 crore people of India".

Welcoming the Indian delegation, Trump said, "It's a great honour to have Mr. Narendra Modi here, who has been such a great a prime minister".

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PM Modi gifted the United States president a stamp that was issued by India 52 years ago in 1965 to mark the death centenary of Abraham Lincoln.

He recalled that Trump had visited India in 2014 even before he became the presidential candidate and had made "warm observations" about him, which he could never forget. Not only this, PM Narendra Modi will be the first Prime Minister to visit the country after 13 long years, as reported by News24. "The Netherlands is our 6th largest trading partner in the European Union and 5th largest investment partner globally", PM Modi said in the Facebook post.

And in a move signaling a tougher stance by the Trump administration against Pakistan-based militants, the State Department imposed sanctions Monday on Syed Salahuddin, leader of the main rebel group that fights against Indian control in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

"I have invited her (Ivanka Trump) to lead the United States delegation for global entrepreneurship forum", Modi said while jointly addressing the media with Trump following delegation-level talks between the two sides.

Trump said both nations are "determined" to destroy terrorist organisations and the radical ideology that drives them. "We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India". Modi, who invited the president and his family to visit India, extolled Trump's leadership qualities.

"This confidence stems from the strength of our shared values and the stability of our systems".

Modi offered yet another embrace as he departed the White House.

"The logic of our strategic relationship is incontrovertible", Modi said while noting that defense was an area of mutually beneficial cooperation. "If the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted", a senior official said, according to Reuters.

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