U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug after giving joint statements at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, June 26, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, hailing strong bilateral ties and pledging to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade and anti-terrorism. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, June 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, hailing strong bilateral ties and pledging to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade and anti-terrorism.
"After our meetings today, I will say that the relationship between India and the United States has never been stronger, has never been better," Trump said in a televised remark with Modi in the White House Rose Garden.
"India and the United States will always be tied together in friendship and respect," he added.
Modi described his talks with Trump as "extremely important," hailing a bilateral relationship that is based on mutual trust and shared values.
"My visit and our talks today will mark a very important page in the history of the collaboration and cooperation between our two nations," Modi said.
On trade, Trump said he looked forward to working with Modi to "create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal," but he also urged the Indian Prime Minister to do more to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with India.
"It is important that barriers be removed to the export of U.S. goods into your markets, and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country," Trump said.
Last year, U.S. trade with India totaled an estimated 114.8 billion U.S. dollars, and U.S. trade deficit with India was 30.8 billion U.S. dollars, according to U.S. official figures.
On security partnership, both U.S. and Indian leaders emphasized the importance of combating terrorism.
Trump said both countries have been struck by the "evils of terrorism," and are determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them.
"The top priority for both President Trump and myself is to protect our society from global challenges like terrorism," Modi said.
Modi landed in Washington on Sunday to start his two-day visit to the United States.