US President Donald Trump on Tuesday spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in what was possibly an early-Wednesday-morning call for the Indian leader. Their interaction is expected to take forward bilateral relations between the two countries, but more importantly, could spell a new world order.
The White House said in a statement about Trump's fifth call to a world leader since he became US president: "During a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump emphasised that the United States considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world."
It added: "The two discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the United States and India in broad areas such as the economy and defense. They also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia." The latter part could have included India's continued push to isolate Pakistan at the world stage on the issue of terrorism.
Th White House also said: "President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the United States and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism. President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the United States later this year."
Modi later tweeted that he had a "warm conversation" with Trump. He added that they "agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties," and that he had invited Trump to visit India.
A new world order?
The similarities between Trump and Modi have been discussed at length: Both came to power in a wave of populism, and both hold distinctly right-wing views. However, it is their differences that balances the equation out. While Trump has been known for his "locker-room talk" and other such actions against women, Modi has no such complaint against him. Also, while Trump is a staunchly anti-climate change, Modi is a strong believer and has expressed strong views and taken action to that extent.
With Trump coming to power followed by the US pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Pact, Australia has made way for China to enter the treaty, a move many are viewing as akin to inviting China to join a new world order.
However, if Modi and Trump can join hands and the partnership can keep its wits about it, the result can be a much stronger world order — one that can benefit more than just the US or India.