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Trump says India a ‘true friend’; asks PM Modi to visit White House

America considers India a “true friend and partner”, US President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone conversation during which they resolved to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the global fight against terrorism and work together for defence and security.

During their conversation, the two leaders extended invitations to each other for visits.

“During a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world,” the White House said in a statement.

“President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the US later this year,” it said.

The two leaders discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the US and India in broad areas such as the economy and defence.

Besides this, they also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the US and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the global fight against terrorism, the statement said.

Modi, who is the fifth foreign leader Trump have spoken with over phone after being sworn-in as the new US President on January 20, said, they “agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties”.

“Had a warm conversation with President @realDonaldTrump late last evening,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

“Have also invited President Trump to visit India,” Modi said.

After Trump surprised the world with his historic victory in the November 8 general elections, Modi was among the first world leaders to have congratulated Trump.

During his gruelling election campaign, India was among the few countries in addition to Israel with whom Trump spoke of strengthening ties if elected to power.

On January 21, Trump spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

On Sunday, Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and yesterday he had a telephonic conversation with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

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