United States President Donald Trump on Friday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “great friend” and praised him for doing a good job amid the worsening coronavirus situation in India. He also expressed confidence that Indian-Americans would vote for him in the elections scheduled to be held in November.
“Prime Minister Modi is a great friend of mine and he’s doing a very good job,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House, in response to a question about India-US ties. “Nothing [is] easy, but he’s done a very good job.”
Trump recalled to the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston in September 2019 and said it showed the Indian-American community’s support for him. “We have great support from India,” he said. “We have great support from Prime Minister Modi. I would think that the Indian (American) people would be voting for Trump.”
The US president referred to India as an incredible place but said it had been hit “very hard” by the coronavirus crisis. “I also, as you know, went to India just prior to the pandemic setting in because India has been hit very hard, left really about a week before that, and we had an incredible time,” he said. “What we saw the people are so incredible it’s really an incredible place, an incredible country and its definitely big.”
Trump offers to help India, China
The US president said that he was ready to help India and China amid fresh border tensions between the two countries and referred to the situation along the Line of Actual Control as “nasty”.
“China and India are going at it pretty good on the border, as you know,” Trump said. “It’s [the standoff] has been very nasty. And we stand ready to help with respect to China and India. If we can do anything, we would love to get involved and help. And we are talking to both countries about that.”
India had said on Tuesday accused China of taking “provocative actions” along the Line of Actual Control. On August 31, the Indian Army had said its soldiers had thwarted similar “provocative” movements by China’s military in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
Tensions between India and China have flared up again, over two months after the troops of both the countries clashed on the border on June 15, in Ladakh. Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives and 76 were injured. An unidentified number of Chinese soldiers also died in the clash.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe met on Friday in Moscow amid strained bilateral ties between the two nations.