When the much-awaited telephone call came from the new US President, Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was upbeat because the call has accredited India with a prime status of being the fifth country made by Washington’s new leader.
Trump, in his typical style called India a “true friend and partner,” and invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, before the ritual October visit to the UN. Modi, in turn, invited the President too to visit India and he would be the next Republic Day chief guest. In 2015, US President Barack Obama graced the occasion as the chief guest.
The conversation mostly surrounded the need for both nations to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the fight against terror. The defence and economic ties too came under discussion.
India is happy that US President trump called Modi ahead of other major powers and their leaders, ahead of China or Russia, for instance. Later Modi tweeted that they “agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties”.
“Had a warm conversation with President @realDonaldTrump late last evening,” he said in his tweet and revealed: “Have also invited President Trump to visit India.”
The White House said, “During a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world. President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the US later this year.”
The defence ties take centre stage as Beijing is turning aggressive on the Soputh China Sea with other Asian nations warily looking at its bullish stance. “They also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the US and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the global fight against terrorism,” the White House statement said.
However, on the domestic front, the H1B visa issue is still primary as Trump is keen to scrap it and retain jobs in the US for its own people under his “America First” policy.