Trump supports India’s Pak policy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have resolved to expand and deepen strategic partnership and advance common objectives, especially combating terrorism, promoting stability across Indo-Pacific region, promoting free and fair trade and strengthening energy linkages.
Prime Minister, while briefing the media persons after his meeting with Donald Trump, said, “With regard to security related challenges, our enhanced and growing defense in security cooperation is extremely important. We have spoken at length on this subject as well. The strengthening of India’s defense capabilities with the help of USA is something that we truly appreciate. We have also decided to enhance maritime security cooperation.”
President Trump said that he “always had admiration of your country, people, culture, heritage and traditions”. He was also quoted as saying, “the relationship between India and the USA has never been stronger, better, both nations will always be together in friendship and respect”.
While speaking about the growing defense ties he said, “Our militaries are working every day to enhance cooperation between our military forces and next month they will join together with the Japanese navy to take part in the largest maritime exercise ever conducted in the vast Indian Ocean.”
India also won Donald Trump administration’s approval for its Pakistan policy. The two leaders called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory should not be used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries (read India). Trump supported India’s demand that Pakistan should expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot and other cross border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan based groups.
Both the leaders resolved to fight against terrorism, a global scourge, and strengthen cooperation against Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jaishe-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D-Company and their affiliates. India appreciated US designation of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist.
The two countries also committed their support for bolstering regional economic connectivity through the transparent development of the infrastructure and the use of responsible debt financial practices and called upon the nations in the region to ensure respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity, rule of law and the environment.
According to joint statement issued at the end of their meeting at White House, the two countries will provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens. They committed to set common principles for the region according to which sovereignty and international law are respected.
For achieving the common goal, the two leaders reiterated the importance of respecting freedom of navigation, over flight and commerce throughout the region. They called upon nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputed peacefully and in accordance with the international law.
President Donald Trump appreciated India’s contribution to promote Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity and security. The two leaders committed to continue close consultations and cooperation in support of that country. They welcomed commencement of the exchange of information on known and suspected terrorists for travel screening.
In another major breakthrough US recognized India as a Major Defense Partner, while pledging deepening of defense and security cooperation and working together on advanced defense equipment and technology equal to that of “closest allies and partners” of the US.
US also cleared the sale of predator Guardian drones to India for two billion dollars, which is considered to be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy. “Reflecting the partnership, the US has offered for India’s consideration the sale of the Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems, which would enhance India’s capabilities and promote shared security interests,” the joint statement said. The drone can stay in the air for up to 27 hours and fly at maximum altitude of 50,000 feet.
In a separate statement at night, the White House, while referring to defense deals with India, said completion of these sales would increase bilateral defense trade to nearly 19 billion dollars, supporting thousands of US jobs. It further said that if selected, US offer to sell F-16 and F/A-18 fighter aircraft to India would represent the most significant defense cooperation between the US and India to date.