With hugs and praise, Modi and Trump strike rapport


In a joint statement released after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the two nations also called on Islamabad to "expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan- based groups".

Speaking in the Rose Garden after their talks, Trump said: "Both our nations have been struck by the evils of terrorism, and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them. We have also chose to enhance maritime security cooperation between the two nations", the prime minister said.

While there were no major announcements, Trump's administration confirmed it had given the green light to the $366 million sale of a transport carrier to India, along with a separate purchase of around 20 drones.

The two leaders underlined the the close ties between their countries, with Trump saying India has a true friend in the White House.

"On behalf of Houston, the energy capital of the world and home of the world's largest medical center, the IACCGH and the strong Indian American community hope to welcome Prime Minister Modi to Houston in the not too distant future, Ahluwalia said".

"India and U.S. have asked Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice perpatrators of terror attacks like 26/11, Pathankot, and other cross-border attacks perpatrated by Pak-based terror groups", said Jaishankar.

Heaping praises on Prime Minister Modi, Trump said that he had been reading a lot about him and that he would want to congratulate him for the exemplary leadership he has shown, primarily, economically.

Trump, for his part, had not yet tweeted about the meeting.

"Giving the citizens of our countries the opportunity to hear directly from their elected officials and for us to hear directly from them", Trump added.

Modi in turn made Trump smile by hailing the property tycoon's reputation as dealmaker. He said the president's "vast and successful experience in the business world will lend an aggressive and forward-looking agenda to our relations".

Trump's was one of the strongest pro-India statements to come from an American president in recent history where there has never been a shortage of hyperbole in describing relations.

While ties with some allies have been strained by Trump's complaints that Washington has been the loser in trade agreements, Modi appears sensitive to his host's emphasis on transactional diplomacy. India's foreign ministry hailed the move. Later, in the Oval Office, Trump sent social media abuzz when his handshake with Abe lasted a full 19 seconds.

The State Department later announced that it was slapping sanctions on a senior figure in the Kashmiri separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Last year, the United States government issued almost one million visas to Indian citizens, and facilitated 1.7 million visits by Indian citizens to the United States.

A proposed overhaul of H-1B visas - used by thousands of Indian software engineers to work in the United States - has caused concern in New Delhi.

"I thank India for joining the USA for imposing new sanctions to the North Korean regime, which is causing a tremendous problem and is something to be dealt with rapidly as the two countries are facing a common threat", Trump said in regard with Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

"I am sure that the convergence of my vision for "New India" and President Trump's vision for making America great again will add new dimensions to our cooperation", he said.

India frequently accuses its arch rival Pakistan of stirring up violence in Afghanistan and harboring militant groups.