Trump and Modi Promises Closer Ties In White House Meeting

President Donald Trump's first meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on Monday was long on proclamations of friendship and short on confrontation over delicate policy issues.

The duo touted ties between India and the United States during a series of events, with both heralding the military cooperation between the United States and India. Though a largely controversy free visit, the focus on military cooperation with India thrusts the new President into the delicate world of India-Pakistan relations.

At least publicly, the two world leaders looked like fast friends, sharing multiple hugs and handshakes during the visit. Trump administration officials hoped to "roll out the red carpet" for Modi, capped by a working dinner in the White House residence.

The meeting between the off-the-cuff President and the prime minister who leads one of the world's fastest growing economies could have been filled with contentious issues, but publicly that wasn't evident.

No issue on the table may have be more challenging than how the United States treats India like a "major defense partner" -- a designation the Obama administration gave the country in 2016 -- without angering neighboring Pakistan.

Trump nodded to their possible differences during a meeting in the White House, but struck an optimistic tone.

"We agree on most things and I would say by the end of the day we'll agree on everything," Trump said.

Trump and Modi both spoke at length about military cooperation during a Rose Garden ceremony where the two leaders delivered joint statements.

Trump called the security partnership "incredibly important" and said both nations would work together to "destroy radical Islamic terrorism."

"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," Trump said.

 

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