“We have never been closer, I can say that with surety… will be discussing trade today,” Trump was quoted as saying as the two leaders sat down for a bilateral meeting.
This is Modi’s first meeting with Trump after his reelection to office of prime minister after the April-May polls. Trump also congratulated Modi on the scale of his party’s victory in the elections concluded on 19 May.
Their meeting comes two days after a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi during which he met Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The Modi-Trump meeting assumes significance in the wake of strains in the bilateral relationship on a number of trade and economic issues as well as an Indian arms deal with Russia. New Delhi had slapped tariffs on 28 products from the United States earlier this month in response to Washington withdrawing its long-standing trade concessions to India on 1 June.
On the eve of his meeting with Narendra Modi, Trump in a Twitter post had demanded the withdrawal of tariffs imposed on 28 goods earlier this month, adding that he was looking forward to discussing the matter with Modi when they meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday.
“I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the tariffs must be withdrawn!” Trump’s tweet read.
‘India, US ties have never been closer’: Trump to PM Narendra Modi – Livemint