Trump and Modi exchange hugs, herald stronger US-India ties

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Kashmiri and Sikh protesters waved flags and chanted slogans Monday evening against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump. "I would like to invite you to India, along with your family".

Trump also made it clear that he seeks more balance in US-India trade relations to keep his promise to expand exports and generate more jobs at home. Modi is to hold an official meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at The Hague and review bilateral ties.

"You know, the prime minister was going to come here at a different time, but we worked out this time because they had elections in a section of India". Both overtly expressive in their gestures, prone to superlatives, lacing their lines with many an adjective, POTUS Trump, and PM Modi, however, seemed to have finally found their soulmates in each other as they met at the White House yesterday, June 26.

Hours before Modi's arrival, the State Department imposed sanctions on Syed Salahuddin, also known as Mohammed Yusuf Shah, the Pakistan-based leader of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the main rebel group that fights against Indian control in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Speaking in the Rose Garden after their talks, Trump said: "Both our nations have been struck by the evils of terrorism, and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them".

Donald Trump defined himself and the PM as "world leaders who are in social media". He said that destruction of terrorists and safe havens will be the targetted aim, adding that India will work closely the United States on rebuilding Afghanistan. "We will crush radical Islamic psychological oppression".

The prime ministers reiterated that India and the Netherlands share common values of democracy, pluralism, respect for human rights and rule of law. "So, once again, let me thank you and express my gratitude", Modi said.

Modi also thanked Trump for his "feelings of friendship" towards India and himself. "No one makes military equipment like the US", he said.

PM Modi added that the countries will exchange information on countering terrorism and increase cooperation in this area.

Modi said battling terror and destroying terrorist hideouts would be an important part of mutual cooperation.

The Google chief said the business leaders had a "very good" discussion with Modi. He added that the United States looks forward to export more energy, including major long- term contracts for purchase of American natural gas, Reuters reported.

Modi swooped in for two big bear hugs with the US president during their joint statements in the Rose Garden, wrapping his arms around Trump's midsection and ending their first embrace with a lingering handshake that stretched the president's arm between their two lecterns.

Trump appeared stiff and uncomfortable with the first hug, smiling thinly and patting Modi on the back a couple of times. In fact, carrying on Trump's not-so-pretty relationship with the press, heeding the Indian demand of not taking any questions from the media was a cakewalk for the new White House administration.

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