ASEAN Summit: India-US to Boost Defence Relationship, Squeeze China

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2017

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have pledged that the USA and India should have the world's greatest militaries as they discussed bilateral strategic partnership and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar described the 45-minute meeting, the third between Modi and Trump, as a "cordial, constructive and very comfortable" conversation on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Pointing to the strong fundamentals driving the US-India relationship, Shah said, "India is a natural ally of the United States, because of the shared commitment to democracy and to counterterrorism, and because the region is so vital to the US security".

The talks between Trump and Modi came after officials of India, the U.S., Japan and Australia held their first meeting to give shape to the much talked about quadrilateral alliance to keep the Indo-Pacific region "free and open".

Both the nations have resolved that "two of the world's great democracies should also have the world's greatest militaries", after the meeting.

Separately, Trump had a joint meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss "a free and open Indo-Pacific region".

"PM Narendra Modi is here we had met at the White House before".

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, speaking to a group of Indian reporters on Monday, alluded to Trump's "liking" for Modi, remarking that the Indian Prime Minister was among a few world leaders that President Trump "just likes and gets along with". At first glance, that would appear to resemble Trump's consistent pushes for US arms sales - a feature of his bilateral official meetings in Japan, South Korea, and even Vietnam during this trip.

He said that Modi was "a great gentleman doing a fantastic job in bringing around lots of factions in India - bringing them all together". It's a lot of good reports coming out of India. "So I want to congratulate you". "A lot of things were solved and we will continue to work together", Trump was quoted as saying.

President Donald Trump is holding friendly talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India as he nears the end of his lengthy Asia trip.

Addressing Trump, he added, "I would like to assure you that whatever the expectations are of the world, of the United States, from India, India has always worked and made efforts to do our bit and to fulfill those expectations".

Trump, who had earlier commended India and Modi for the country's "astounding growth" at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday, once again praised Modi on Monday.

The overt US support for a "great" Indian military is a new and relatively recent feature of the bilateral relationship.

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