Modi-Trump Hold Talks; Trade, Defence, Security On Agenda

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NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday held extensive talks covering the entire spectrum of bilateral ties, including the key areas of defence, security, and trade and investment.

During their talks at the Hyderabad House here, the two leaders are also expected to deliberate on regional issues, including the US’ proposed peace deal with the Taliban, the situation in the Indo-Pacific, the threat of terrorism and the situation in the Gulf region.

In his brief remarks at the talks before the media, Prime Minister Modi welcomed the US president and thanked him for taking time out for the visit to India.

President Trump, in turn, said the last two days in India were amazing, especially the event at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.

“It was a great honour for me. I would imagine they (the people) were there maybe more for you than for me… 125,000 people were inside. Every time I mentioned your name, there were cheers. People love you,” Trump told Modi in front of the media.

After the talks, the two sides will seal defence deals worth around USD 3 billion.

“The increasing strength in the India-US ties has made this the defining partnership of the 21st-century,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Twitter.

Earlier, Trump was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi welcomed Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The US president also received a tri-services guard of honour at the presidential palace.

The Trumps, who also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial Rajghat here, arrived in Ahmedabad around noon on Monday for the first leg of their 36-hour India visit.

The US president was feted at the world’s largest cricket stadium in the “Namaste Trump” event and was cheered by tens of thousands of people.

From Ahmedabad, he and his delegation travelled to Agra where they visited the Taj Mahal. The US president arrived in the national capital around 7.30 pm on Monday.

In his address at the massive “Namaste Trump” event at Motera stadium in Ahmedabad, the US president announced that deals to sell state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment worth over USD 3 billion will be sealed between the two countries on Tuesday.

The deals will include procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters by India from the US at a cost of USD 2.6 billion. Another contract to acquire six AH-64E Apache helicopters for USD 800 million from the US is also on the table.

Talking about defence and strategic ties between the two countries, Trump said the US is looking forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet.

“We make the greatest weapons ever made: airplanes, missiles, rockets, ships. We make the best. And we’re dealing now with India. But this includes advanced air defence systems and armed and unarmed aerial vehicles,” Trump said.

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Press Trust of India

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