New Delhi: Bilateral meeting between India and USA held on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly and it is expected that a positive trade deal could be finalized. Both Donald Trump and Narendra Modi expressed an affirmative response towards a positive trade deal. Narendra Modi was accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gohlke. Donald Trump was with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo along with others.
“We will have a larger deal down the road a little but we have a trade deal very soon,” Trump said.
Before this bilateral meeting both leaders had met in Houston’s mega event Howdy Modi. Bonhomie shared between the two leaders in that mega event set the positive tone for subsequent bilateral talks. It is hoped that outstanding trade issues—reinstating the GSP( Generalised System of Preferences, which the US had lifted on June 5, market access and import duty etc.—would be sorted out.
At the press conference Narendra Modi extended day his thanks to Donal Trump for visiting him in Houston.
“I am thankful to Trump that he came to Houston. He is my friend but he is also a good friend of India.” Modi said at the meeting.
Donald Trump on Kashmir
Donald Trump reciprocated similar feelings, but at the same time reiterated his previous offer of mediation on the Kashmir issue. But this time he also added that he would do so only if India favors any such arbitration process.
“I had a meeting with PM Imran Khan. It was a long meeting. We discussed a lot. I think he’d like to see something happen that these two gentlemen would get together and work on something,” Trump said.
“I think as far as Pakistan is concerned, India, their talking, I am certainly willing to help. I think they would in a certain way like my help. But they have to both want it. They have different views and I am concerned about it,” US President said here minutes before his UNGA speech.
However, India has already stated his stand quite clear on the issue of Kashmir. India has refused to engage in any talks with Pakistan as long as it continues to support terrorists and cross border infiltration.
On trade deal and chemistry between the two leaders
Narendra Modi while giving gist of the trade deal he signed, he expressed that this deal would be crucial in creating lots of job opportunities in India.
“In Houston, in my presence, an agreement was signed by Indian company Petronet for the amount of 2.5 billion dollars. This amount will be invested in the energy sector. In years to come, this will result in trade of amount of 60 billion worth of trade and would lead to creation of 50000 jobs which I think is a very big initiative taken by India,” PM Modi said.
Recalling his previous meetings with Donald Trump, he said that discussions on different issues in the past had been quite well and fruitful and hoped for similar engagements in future between these two democracies so that democratic values can be protected.
“After the formation of our new government, I have had the opportunity to meet President Trump on three occasions, where we have held detailed and fruitful discussions on different issues.
“ The continuous engagement, nearness and ease between the largest and oldest democracies is a great sign for the world which believes in democratic values,” Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his gratitude towards Donald Trump for visiting him in Houston for Howdy Modi! event.
“ I am very grateful to President Trump for coming to Houston. He dedicated large time to it and it was a proud moment for Indian Americans,” Trump said.
Responding to a question on his personal chemistry with Narendra Modi he said, “My personal chemistry ( with Prime Minister Modi) is as good as it can get.”
He even added that Narendra Modi is a great leader and a gentleman and recalled a time before Modi came to power when India was torn and full with a lot of fighting, and credited Narendra Modi for unifying the nation and even termed him ‘Father of the nation’.
In an answer to a question on how would he respond to the latest admission of Pakistan’s PM of his country’s military and ISI providing training to the terrorists, Donald Trump said that he had no knowledge about but exuded confidence in Narendra Modi that he would take care of everything.
“I have not heard that and I know that your Prime Minister will take care of it,” he said.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York on Monday admitted that his country’s ISI and military had armed and trained the Al Qaeda and other militant groups.
“The Pakistani army ISI trained Al Qaeda and all these groups to fight in Afghanistan, there were always links, there had to be linked because they trained them,” Khan had said.
Imran Khan at CFR also expressed regret over joining the US in its war on terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 terror attack. He was saying so because joining the war turned their spawned terrorists against them and created problems for them. Notwithstanding, these terrorists are still very dear to Pakistan which provides them shelter and freedom to roam freely. Terrorists feel so privileged in Pakistan that perpetrator and US designated terrorist like Hafiz Saeed not only roam freely but can also create a political party and contest elections.
US President Donald Trump even referred to the Houston’s Howdy Modi! event in which PM Narendra Modi has expressed India’s resolve to give befitting reply to any future terrorist attack or infiltration.
“The message is not for me to give but for PM Modi and I think he gave it loud and clear on that day. He gave a big loud message and I am sure he will be able to handle the situation,” Trump said in an answer to a question on what message he would like to send to Pakistan over its admission of harboring terrorists as well as on the recent reports of a large scale terrorists infiltration India in coming days.
What future stores for India and USA ties is not sure but what is sure is the India’s firm stand on the matter of Kashmir. As the US is heading for 2020 presidential election, India can be hopeful for sorting out the trade disputes with the US, therefore, President Trump may offer a better trade deal to India to leverage the popularity of Narendra Modi.