Modi and Trump exchange hugs, announce stronger US-India ties

Modi and Trump exchange hugs, announce stronger US-India ties

Srinagar: Hugging outside the White House, President Donald Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi heralded an increasingly close strategic partnership as the U.S. branded Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin as a “global terrorist.”

Trump declared he was “true friend” of India and said relations between the two largest democracies have never been better. But there were some tensions in the inaugural meeting between the two populist leaders. On trade, Trump demanded fewer barriers for American companies exporting to India, media reports said.

Speaking in the Rose Garden after their talks, Trump said: “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. We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”

Modi stressed the importance of “doing away” with ‘terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens’, apparently talking about Pakistan, India’s historical arch rival. He said the U.S. and India will enhance intelligence-sharing.

Pertinently, Hours before Modi’s arrival, the State Department imposed sanctions on Syed Salahuddin, the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, the main rebel group that fights against Indian control in Kashmir.