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New Delhi, February 25, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump today held talks on a wide range of issues on the second day of the latter's two-day visit to India and decided to take the bilateral relationship to the level of a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.
"This relationship is the most important partnership of the 21st century. And so today President Trump and I have decided to take our relationship to the level of Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. President Trump has been an invaluable contribution in bringing relations to this level," Modi said at a joint media interaction with Trump at Hyderabad House here after their talks.
The Prime Minister noted that it was his fifth meeting with Trump in the last eight months.
He also referred to the huge crowds that lined up Trump's route in Ahmedabad and gathered in the Motera stadium there yesterday to greet the US President and said the "unprecedented and historical welcome" would be remembered forever.
The US President and First Lady Melania Trump had arrived in Ahmedabad yesterday morning and spent some time at the Sabarmati Ashram -- Mahatma Gandhi's home for many years -- before flying to Agra to see the monument of love, the Taj Mahal. They reached Delhi late yesterday evening and are due to fly back home later tonight.
"Yesterday it became clear again that the relationship between America and India is not just between two governments, but people-driven, people-centric," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that, during their talks today, Trump and he positively considered every important of the partnership -- defense and security, energy strategic partnership, technology cooperation, global connectivity, trade relations or people to people relations.
"Increasing defense and security cooperation between India and the US is a very important part of our strategic partnership. India's defense capacity has increased through collaboration on state-of-the-art defense equipment and platforms. Our defense manufacturers are becoming part of each other's supply chains. Indian forces are doing most training exercises today with the forces of USA. In the last few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in interoperability between our forces," he said.
"Similarly, we are also increasing cooperation to protect our home-lands and fight international crime. Today, the decision on Homeland Security will give further impetus to this cooperation. Today we have decided to increase our efforts to hold terror supporters responsible. President Trump has made fighting the drugs and opioid crisis a priority. Today, we have also agreed on a new mechanism regarding serious problems like Drug trafficking, Narco -terrorism and organized crime.
"Friends, our Strategic Energy Partnership established shortly before is becoming stronger. And mutual investment in this area has increased. America has become a very important source of India for oil and gas. Our total energy trade has been around 20 billion dollars in the last four years. Be it renewable energy or nuclear energy, our co-operation is getting new energy.
"Similarly, Industry 4.0 and other emerging technologies of the 21st century are also setting new positions of India-US partnership, innovation and enterprise on it. The talent of Indian professionals has strengthened the technology leadership of American companies," he said.
Modi said India and the United States were committed to openness and fair and balanced trade in the economic sector.
"Our bilateral trade has witnessed double-digit growth in the last three years, and has also become more balanced. If energy, civil aircrafts, defense and higher education, then in the last four-five years, only these four sectors have contributed about 70 billion dollars to the economic relations of India-US. Much of this has been possible due to President Trump's policies and decisions. I am confident that this figure will increase significantly in the coming times.
"As far as bilateral trade is concerned, there have been positive talks between our Commerce Ministers. President Trump and I have agreed today that the understanding that has been reached between our Commerce Ministers, lets our teams make it legal. We have also agreed to start negotiations for a big trade deal. We hope that it will yield good results in mutual interest.
"The cooperation of India and America globally is based on our common democratic values and objectives. This cooperation is particularly important for rule based international order, especially in Indo-Pacific and global commons. Both of us agree on the importance of sustainable and transparent financing in the development of connectivity infrastructure in the world. This mutual understanding of ours is not only in each other, but in the interest of the world," he said.
The Prime Minister said the most important foundations of the special friendship between the two countries were their people-to-people relations.
"Be it professionals or students, Indian diaspora has been the biggest contributor to this in the USA. These ambassadors of India are not only contributing to the economy of USA with their talent and hard work. Rather, we are also enriching american society with their democratic values and rich culture. I have requested President Trump to take forward the two sides' discussion on the totalisation agreement on social security contribution of our professionals. It will be in mutual interest.
"President Trump's visit has played a historic role in further strengthening our relationships in all these dimensions. Once again, I heartily thank President Trump for coming to India, and for taking Indo-US relations to a new height," he added.