Describing Narendra Modi as a "great Prime Minister", President Donald Trump today discussed with him ways to push the bilateral strategic ties amid US' strong message to Pakistan by declaring Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.
Modi, meeting Trump for the first time, was accorded a warm welcome with the US President and the first lady Melaniacoming out of the White House to receive him.
At the White House portico, they exchanged pleasantries and had a brief interaction before going inside for the summit meeting.
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As the two leaders sat for the meetings Trump, who had recently described Modi as a "true friend", said it was "a great honour" for him to receive the prime minister.
"He is such a great Prime Minister. I have been speaking with him and reading about him. He is doing a great job. Economically, India is doing very well and in so many other ways. I would like to congratulate him for this," he said in brief comments.
Modi expressed gratitude to Trump and the first lady for the warm welcome extended to him, which included a 'working dinner', the first of its kind under the current US administration.
"It is a welcome to 125 crore people of India. For that I extend hearty thanks to the President and the first lady," the prime minister said.
Modi said Trump has been following India's growth march and economic progress.
Modi became the prime minister on May 26, 2014. Among the issues on the discussion table of Modi and Trump were counter-terrorism cooperation, defence partnership,global cooperation, trade and energy.
The tone for the first summit meeting was set by the US State Department which declared Syed Salahuddin, chief o fKashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, as a 'global terrorist', just a few hours earlier. The State Department action sent out a strong message against the terrorism emanating from Pakistan which is hurting India.
He recalled his visit to Washington last June and his address to a joint session of the US Congress, where he saidthat the relationship between India and America had overcomethe "hesitations of history". "A year later, I return to the US confident in thegrowing convergence between our two nations," he said.
Modi said the confidence in each other's political values and a strong belief in each other's prosperity has led to greater engagements between the two countries. "The logic of our strategic relationship is incontrovertible," Modi said while noting that defence was an area of mutually beneficial cooperation.