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Modi and Trump Hit-off Very Well, says India’s Foreign Secretary

June 27, 2017 (EIRNS)—Reporting on the Trump-Modi meeting of June 26, India’s Foreign Secretary, S. Jaishankar, who had witnessed Manmohan Singh-Bush, Manmohan Singh-Obama and Modi-Obama Summits as former Joint Secretary (Americas) and Indian Ambassador to the U.S., said this meeting exceeded all expectations.

"This was frankly one of the most productive of all prime ministerial visits to the United States," he said, as the Hindu reported today.

According to the Indian media, this 2017 Summit is entirely different from the earlier Summits since the thrust was on developing a mutually beneficial economic and trade relationship. President Trump pointed out that the U.S. has an annual trade deficit of about $31 billion and that this should be addressed. Modi, in response, pointed out that India is willing to buy LNG from the United States to lower the deficit. India buys almost all its LNG from Qatar and Oman. Also, discussions took place to facilitate manufacture of F-16s in India.

In addition, the joint statement issued following the Summit was tough on Pakistan vis-à-vis terrorism and softer on the South China Sea (SCS) issue. The Hindu pointed out that, replacing the joint statement of the 2016 Modi-Obama Summit, where India and the U.S. called for securing the domains of land, maritime, air, space, and cyber in the SCS, this joint statement called for the “responsible stewards” and "democratic stalwarts" in the Indo-Pacific Region to handle the dispute.

"No mention is made either of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, under which a tribunal ruled against China’s claims in the SCS, which was referred to the previous year,"

the Hindu noted.

On terrorism, Trump and Modi

"called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. They further called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups,"

the Indo-U.S. joint statement said, The Hindu reported.