Osaka: Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump declared Friday that their countries were ‘central to global peace and stability’ and pledged to ‘provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come’, according to a statement released by the White House.
The two leaders exchanged ‘perspectives on progress in the strategic partnership and develop new ideas to bring it to the next level’, at their bilateral meeting here on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
They ‘acknowledged the unprecedented breadth and depth of bilateral ties, including economic, trade, energy, defense and security, counter-terrorism, and space’, the statement said.
“The leaders affirmed that, as responsible democracies, a close partnership between the US and India is central to global peace and stability. They reiterated their commitment to provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come,” the statement added.
Before their bilateral meeting, Modi and Trump held a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinto Abe.
After the meeting, Modi tweeted: “Today’s meeting of the JAI (Japan, America, India) Trilateral was a productive one. We had extensive discussions on the Indo-Pacific region, improving connectivity and infrastructure development.”
A White House statement of the trilateral meeting said the leaders ‘reaffirmed the critical importance of strengthening US-India-Japan cooperation to reinforce shared core democratic values, which promote global security and prosperity’.
“They agreed to meet every year to ensure successful cooperation in multiple areas, including maritime security, quality infrastructure, and advancing peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and Pacific region and beyond,” the statement said.
Before his meeting with Modi, the US President said he thought they will have a ‘very big trade deal to announce’.
“I think we will just continue to get along with India,” Trump told reporters as they got ready for the talks. “We certainly work together on trade and we’ll be discussing trade today. I think we are going to have some very big things to announce. Very big trade deal,” added the US President.
Trade is a cause of major friction between India and the US, with Trump on a warpath on tariffs. Last month, the US withdrew the general scheme of preferences (GSP) trade concessions to India accusing it of failing to provide ‘equitable and reasonable access’ to its markets. India retaliated June 16 retaliated by hiking tariffs on 28 US products.
Modi said before the talks that the key topics they would discuss include Iran, 5G, bilateral relations and defence relations. He added that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his recent visit to New Delhi had delivered a ‘very warm letter’ from Trump congratulating him on his recent re-election.