INDIA, US expand defense cooperation: POTUS Trump

India and the US have expanded defence cooperation with New Delhi agreeing to purchase more than USD 3 billion worth of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters, the finest in the world . After bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi’s Hyderabad house on Tuesday, February 25, on trade ties, counter-terror and energy cooperation, Trump said at a joint press meet with Modi said they affirmed the two countries’ commitment to ‘’protect their citizens from radical Islamic terrorism. ’In this effort, the US is also working productively with Pakistan to confront terrorists who operate on its soil,” the POTUS said. ‘’We have expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than USD 3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters — the finest in the world. These deals will enhance our joint defence capabilities as our militaries continue to train and operate side by side. “Another major focus of my discussions with Prime Minister Modi was forging bilateral economic relationships that is fair and reciprocal. “Our teams have made tremendous progress on a comprehensive trade agreement. I am optimistic that we can reach a deal that will be of great importance to both countries. Since, I took office US exports to India are up nearly 60 per cent and exports of high-quality American energy have grown by 500 per cent,” Trump said. He said to further strengthen the economic ties, the US is pleased to announce that the US international development finance cooperation will be establishing a permanent presence right here. India and the US on Tuesday inked three MoUs, including one in the energy sector, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the two countries have decided to take Indo-US ties to comprehensive global partnership level.The unprecedented and historic welcome given to Trump in India will be remembered, Modi said and added that the relations between the two countries are not merely confined to governments but are people-driven.”Defence cooperation between two countries is reflective of the rising strategic partnership between India and US. We also agreed on new mechanism to contain drug trafficking” the Prime Minister said. Modi earlier had welcomed the US president and thanked him for taking time out for the visit to India. President Trump said the last two days in India were amazing, especially the event at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, US First Lady Melania Trump said she was inspired by the Happiness Curriculum after attending a ‘Happiness Class’ at a south Delhi government school. “Thank you for welcoming me. This is my first visit to India. People here are so welcoming and kind,” she said. She said it is “very inspiring” that students begin their day with practising mindfulness and connecting with nature”.(edited by PK Chakravarty)

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