US, India cooperation can increase beyond bilateral ties, says PM Modi to Trump

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On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held across-the-board talks with US President Donald Trump and said him that both nations can go beyond bilateral ties and work together for the future of Asia, echoing their developing convergence on strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region. PM Modi also assured Trump in the meeting that took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in the Philippines that India will try to “live up to the expectations” of the US and also thanked the US President for speaking “highly” about India during his trips.

“The cooperation between India and US can rise beyond bilateral cooperation and both countries can work for the future of Asia and the world…We are moving ahead together on many issues,” PM Modi said. Modi added that “Wherever President Trump has gone and wherever he got an opportunity to talk about India, he spoke very highly about India. He expressed optimism about India and I am assuring that the expectation the world has, the expectation the US has, India has been trying to live up to that expectation and will continue to do it”.

Talking about the US President, Trump described Modi as a friend. As per the transcript released by the White House, Trump said that “It’s great to have Prime Minister Modi here. We’ve had him at the White House, and he’s become a friend of ours and a great gentleman doing a fantastic job in bringing around lots of factions in India — bringing them all together”. “It’s a lot of good reports coming out of India. So I want to congratulate you,” he said to Modi.

It is learnt that two leaders have talked about the security situation in the region alongside some other issues of mutual interests including ways to extra boost bilateral trade. This move is to start the quadrilateral alliance that comes in the background of increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. The US, on the other hand, has been favoring a bigger role for India in the purposefully important Indo-Pacific region. On Friday, Trump has praised India’s “astounding” growth after it opened up its economy and also applauded PM Modi, saying that he has been working successfully to bring the immense country and its people together.

While speaking at the gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnamese City of Danang, President Trump mentioned India as one of the countries in the Indo-Pacific region making progress. The US President also praised India as a sovereign democracy with a population of more than 1 billion people as well as the largest democracy in the world.

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