India-US relationship going to get stronger under Trump:White House

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WASHINGTON : The India-US relationship is going to get stronger and better under the Trump administration in a wide range of areas, including regional security issues, trade and economy, terrorism, a senior White House official has said.

“India is a natural ally of the United States, because of

the shared commitment to democracy and to

counterterrorism, and because the region is so vital to

the US security,” Raj Shah, the White House principal

deputy press secretary, told a group of Indian reporters

on Monday.

Shah’s comments came hours after Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held their

second bilateral meeting in Manila on the sidelines of the

ASEAN Summit.

The two countries are going to have a “strong relationship

and it’s going to get stronger” under this president, he

said.

Shah, the highest-ranking Indian-American ever in the

White House press wing said that US-India relationship

should stand on its own leg and “not be contingent” on any

other relationship.

There are a lot more in common between India and the US

than that between US and China, he said.

“The relationship with Modi is his relationship. He likes

(him). You know he talks about other leaders too.The way

in which he talks about a few other leaders that he just

likes and gets along with, Modi is one of them,” he added.

Modi and Trump met for the first time in June, but they

have spoken on several occasions after Trump was elected

as the US President last year.

“They just get along,” he said.

“I think, he (Trump) was impressed with Prime Minister

Modi and you know I can’t speak too much further than

that, but you have a situation where they like each other.

The fundamentals of the relationship are set for a kind of

a rising tide rising between the two countries,” he said.

Describing the June meeting between Modi and Trump as a

“rally big step,” the principal deputy press secretary

said the relationship between the two largest democracies

of the world is expanding in a wide range of areas,

including regional security issues, trade and economy in

addition to areas like terrorism.

“I think it’s moved from security issues now toward economic issues in many ways…trade and energy exports, which have expanded to India in recent months actually, and a lot of regional security issues not just kind of global terrorism. There’s democracy promotion in the area,” he said.

He refuted apprehensions in some quarters in India about US-China relationship and its impact on India.

“US and India are going to have a strong relationship and it’s going to get stronger under this president. And looking at it going forward there are so many issues that China, Pakistan other countries have a marginal role, it’s really between the US and India,” he said.

Orignally published by INP

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