It was a warm welcome at the White House for Prime Minister Narendra Modi by US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. It was the first meeting between the two world leaders on Monday. Welcoming Modi to the White House, Trump said it was an honour to have invited and hosted the Indian Prime Minister. “The relationship between the US and India has never looked brighter. I have always admired India and its people and the rich cultural heritage and traditions,” he said.
Modi, in return, invited thanked Trump and the First Lady for their hospitality and invited them to visit India. He said the kind of welcome he was given, it was a welcome to the 125 crore people of India. Modi spread his warmth by giving the US President a hug at the end of their Press statements. There was also a second hug before Modi left the White House. “There was visible chemistry between the two leaders,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar later said.
7 key highlights of the meeting between Narendra Modi and Donald Trump
- Donald Trump gave Narendra Modi a guided tour of his residence quarters in the White House, including Lincoln bedroom. He also showed him a copy of the famous Gettysburg address of the 16th President of the United States of America and the desk on which he wrote it.
- Modi is likely to have presented Trump with an original commemorative postal stamp that was issued by India 52 years ago in 1965 on the death centenary of Abraham Lincoln. The stamp is a symbol of the closeness of the ideals for which Lincoln stood and those which drove Mahatma Gandhi. The two leaders believed in the goodness of the common man, and in the emancipation of the downtrodden.
- Modi is also believed to have gifted to Trump a wooden chest with intricate inlay pattern which is a speciality of Punjab. There were gifts for Melania too. Modi gave the First Lady a hamper containing a traditional, handcrafted Himachali silver bracelet, tea, and honey from Kangra valley, and hand-woven shawls from Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.
- Stressing that both the US and India are deeply affected by terrorism, Trump, in a joint conference, said that there must be focus on destroying radical Islamic terrorism. “We will be enhancing the military cooperation and next month, will join the Japan Navy to take part in the largest Maritime exercise in the vast Indian Ocean,” Trump said. The US President said that he had read a lot about Modi and congratulated him for the “exemplary leadership he has shown, primarily, economically.”
- Modi laid special emphasis on ties between India and the United States and praised the US as a valued partner. he also asserted that eliminating safe havens of terror and bringing stability to Afghanistan was the major issue that both nations need to address.
- Drawing similarities between his tagline for India and Trump’s vision for America, Modi said: “My visit and our talks will mark a very important page in the history of cooperation and collaboration between the two nations. My vision of ‘New India’ and President Trump’s vision of ‘Make America Great Again’ shows convergence of ideas that will open up new avenues for people of both countries.”
- Modi and Trump also held delegation-level talks in the Cabinet Room at the White House where they discussed varied issues like the purchase of military equipment and ties between the two nations. In reference to the recent F16 joint production deal, Trump thanked India for ordering equipment from the US and added that “No one makes military equipment like the US.” he said.
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