India and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to build relations between the two nations during American President Donald Trump’s state visit that concluded on Tuesday. The two leaders focussed on defence, trade and energy sectors, and urged Pakistan to curb terrorism originating from its soil.
In a joint statement, issued late on Tuesday, the two heads of nations denounced the use of “terrorist proxies” and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism. “They [Modi and Trump] call on Pakistan to ensure that no territory under its control is used to launch terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot,” the statement said. “They called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, TTP, D-Company, and all their affiliates.”
Trump reasserted United States’ support to India for permanent membership on a reformed United Nations Security Council. The American president also reaffirmed his country’s support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group “without any delay”.
Trump and Modi said they looked forward to “early conclusions of defense cooperation enabling agreements, including Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement”. “As India works to acquire new defense capabilities, President Trump reaffirmed India’s status as a Major Defense Partner, affording it the highest consideration for procurement and technology transfer purposes,” the statement read.
The two countries also expressed their shared interest in a united, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan. The two leaders said they support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process” that will lead to sustainable peace, stop violence, and eliminate terrorist safe havens. “President Trump welcomed India’s role in continuing to provide development and security assistance to help stabilize and provide connectivity in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The two leaders held bilateral discussions on Tuesday during which a potentially “big trade deal” was discussed. On Monday, at the “Namaste Trump” event in Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium, the US president had announced a defence deal worth $3-billion. Trump, who is accompanied by his wife and United States’ First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner visited three Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi – in two days.
President Trump and his wife landed in Delhi on Monday night. The president had also visited the Taj Mahal in Agra. On Tuesday, the couple visited Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. Trump, who was in India as violence erupted in Delhi after supporters and those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act clashed, said he had discussed religious freedom with Modi, but added that it was “up to India” to handle the ongoing violence in parts of Delhi.