Modi US visit
US President Donald Trump (R) arrives for a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House in WashingtonREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed with handshakes and smiles by US President Donald J Trump and Melania Trump into the White House in Washington on Monday. During the talks, both leaders emphasised the importance of a strong India-US relationship.

A 'fair and reciprocal' trading relationship

Appreciating Trump's commitment for enhancement of bilateral relations, Modi said, "I am sure that under your leadership a mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights."

Trump also made it clear that he seeks more balance in US-India trade relations to keep his promise to expand exports and generate more jobs at home. Last year the US trade deficit with India neared $31 billion.

"It is important that barriers be removed to the export of US goods into your markets and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country," Trump said.

Energy deals

Trump referred to the SpiceJet's expansion plans announced in January this year, saying he was pleased about the recent order of 100 new American planes. He added that the US looks forward to export more energy, including major long- term contracts for purchase of American natural gas, Reuters reported.

These energy contracts "are being negotiated and we will sign – trying to get the price up a little bit," Trump said.

Modi US visit
US President Donald Trump (R) greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in WashingtonREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Regarding Trump's 'Make America great Again' campaign slogan, Modi stressed that his agenda for India was different, but added that the convergence of the US president's campaign with his vision of 'New India' will cater to new dimensions in cooperation.

Fight against terrorism

Emphasising that fight against terrorism was the top priority for both the parties, Prime Minister Modi said that the two leaders held discussions under the heads of 'radicalisation' and 'extremism'.

"India's benefit lies in a strong and successful America and similarly America's benefits lies in a developed and internationally strong India," Modi said while jointly addressing the media with Trump following delegation-level talks between the two sides.

President Trump said, "We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism."

To this, Modi added that the fight against terrorism will be an important part of mutual cooperation.

No mention was, however, made of differences between the two parties when it came to immigration and the Paris climate accord.