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Trump, Modi vow to stand 'shoulder-to shoulder' in war against terror

Four days into office, US President Donald Trump has declared India a “true friend and partner” in a phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they vowed to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the fight against terror and strengthen defence and economic ties.

During their telephonic conversation last night, the two leaders also extended invitations to each other for bilateral 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 has 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 few world leaders who congratulated him. 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 on Monday he had a telephonic conversation with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.