US President Donald Trump today congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his party’s big win in the national election as the two leaders met for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Japan.
“You deserve it (victory). You have done a great job in pulling together. I remember when you first took over, there were many factions and they were fighting with each other and now they get along. It’s a fantastic tribute to you and your abilities,” said Mr Trump, who is himself preparing for a re-election next year, as he met PM Modi for the first time after the national election.
PM Modi’s BJP had scored a victory bigger than in 2014 to emerge as the single-largest party in the national election. The party kept its core states – the Hindi heartland, Gujarat and Maharashtra – while posting fresh victories in West Bengal, Odisha and the northeast.
The interaction between the two leaders is significant in view of the multiple disagreements that have cropped up between India and the US, including trade tariffs and an arms deal with Russia.
“We have become great friends and our countries have never been closer. I can say that with surety. We will work together in many ways including military, we’ll be discussing trade today,” Mr Trump said.
PM Modi said India will work towards maintaining a positive relationship with the US. India has strong trade ties with the US and has bought advanced military hardware from American defence firms recently. “We will strive to work for a positive relationship with the US… India-US vision is far-sighted and positive. We are committed to ensuring a better future,” PM Modi said.
The G20 Summit in Japan where world leaders are gathered is one of the most high-stakes and fractious meetings in years, with a bruising US-China trade war, geopolitical tensions, and climate change on the agenda.
The two-day summit in the city of Osaka will be dominated by trade issues, with all eyes on whether US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can reach a truce in a dispute that has been hugely damaging for the world economy.