Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Washington later in 2017. A day after US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Modi, the White House said in a statement, “President Trump also said he looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in Washington later this year.”
The statement also said that Trump also expressed support for the Prime Minister Modi’s economic reform agenda and emphasised his great respect for the people of India.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer had on Tuesday said that Trump congratulated Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on their electoral victories. The White House said the leaders spoke by phone.
Following the elections held in five states that begun on February 4 and ended on March 9 after polling was rescheduled in some constituencies, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government in four states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. It, however, lost Punjab to main rival Congress in the results announced on March 11.
Anchored mainly by Modi and his aide Amit Shah, the BJP juggernaut rolled on in Uttar Pradesh and in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand, bagging three-fourth majority.
Previously, Modi and Trump talked by phone on January 24, when they had resolved to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the global fight against terrorism and for defence and security.
According to a White House statement then, Trump had “emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world”.
The two leaders had exchanged invitations for visits.
“President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the US later this year,” the statement had said.
Prime Minister Modi was the fifth foreign leader Trump had spoken to on phone after he was sworn-in as the US president on January 20. He had by then spoken to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
After his surprise victory in the November 8 elections in the US, Modi was among the first world leaders to congratulate Trump. And during the gruelling election campaign, India and Israel were the two prominent countries Trump spoke of strengthening ties if he were to become the president.
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