Trump tells Modi India ‘a true friend and partner’, invites PM to US ‘later this year’

January 25, 2017

Washington, Jan 25: In a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the US considers India a “true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world”, according to a White House statement.

Modifriend

The two leaders also discussed opportunities to “strengthen the partnership between the United States and India in broad areas such as the economy and defense”, the statement said without citing specific areas, sectors or goals.

Modi and Trump, who were speaking for the first time after the new US president took charge last Friday, also discussed “security in the region of South and Central Asia” and, once again the statement left out details.

South and Central Asia cover many areas of mutual interest to both India and the United States including Pakistan and Afghanistan and it could not be immediately confirmed if they discussed the drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan.

But the two leaders resolved, according to the White House statement, “that the United States and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism”, which has been a priority for both of them and both countries.

Trump is hosting Modi later in the year, but it was, once again, not immediately clear if that will be in September-October when the Indian prime minister comes to the US for the UN general assembly meeting, or some other time.

But the two, who first spoke in November when Modi was among the first foreign leaders to call Trump on his election, are likely to meet during the next meeting of the G-20, which is scheduled to take place in Hamburg, Germany in July.

Since that first call, India engaged with Trump on two separate occasions: The first was a meeting between Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar and then Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, and the second on December 19 when Ajit Doval, national security adviser to PM Modi, met Trump’s NSA Michael Flynn.

And now the call. The US statement contained no details and it was not known if trade in services, read H-1B, came up during their phone call, as many had expected, since it being the one issue that had agitated New Delhi the most about Trump.

The fate of the temporary US visa programme for high-skilled foreign workers, which is at the heart to India’s burgeoning IT exports to the US, seemed uncertain, given the president’s own reservations about it, and those of leading members of his team.

They believe the H-1B programme is being abused by the US companies to outsource American jobs to temporary foreign workers, a large number of them from India, and they have been considering ways to make it harder for that to happen.

“There is no other area of potential dispute or differences with the United States under President Trump,” said an Indian official, who spoke strictly on background. He added, “H-1B is the only problem for us as of now.”

In response to a question about India-US relations, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had said Monday that as with other countries, the Trump administration is focussed on access to markets in manufacturing and services.

Since being sworn-in last Friday, the new president has begun engaging with world leaders and has spoken to prime minister and president of neighboring Canada and Mexico first — with whom he plans to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal.

He has also talked since with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who he has invited to to a meeting in early February. And he meets Teresa May, prime minister of America’s closest ally the United Kingdom, on Friday.

The Tuesday call with Modi, on the second day of Trump’s first week in office, is being taken as sign of the priority he is attaching to the relationship, after an unprecedented outreach to the Indian American community during election.

At an election rally in New Jersey, Trump had said on his watch as president that India and the US will be “best friends” and, added in a typically Trumpian hyperbole that “there will be no relationship more important to me”.

At the suggestion of the Republican Hindu Coalition founder Shalli Kumar, who had organised the rally, Trump recorded a campaign call modeled on Modi’s election slogan “Abki baar Modi sarkar”, replacing Modi with Trump.

Also, Prime Minister Modi appears to have an admirer in Steve Bannon, chief strategist and senior counseller to the president, who had in 2014 called Modi’s election a “great victory … very much based on … Reaganesque principles”.

Bannon was then chief executive officer of Breitbart News, a stridently conservative news publication, and would become in 2016 a leading and early supporter of Trump, and later went on to head his campaign in August.

Comments

ali
 - 
Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017

Modi is happy, because after a long time after leaving his wife, he got the life partner in trump.

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November 19,2022

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New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA poaching case summoned BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh to appear on November 21, failing which he will be arrested.

This comes after the Telangana High Court on Tuesday rejected the BJP’s plea to hand over MLAs’ poaching case to the CBI and made the SIT probing the case independent. The court also ruled that a judge will monitor the investigation into the case.

The court has also asked the SIT to submit a report on November 29 on the progress of the probe.

Notably, the Telangana government formed the SIT on November 9 to investigate the case. The SIT has six police officers and is headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner.

It is to be noted that Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Aand Nandakumar were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26, when they were allegedly trying to lure four TRS MLAs with offers of money.

Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs, who alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had called a press conference on November 3, where he showed videos that he claimed backed up the TRS charges of poaching against the BJP. He had also linked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the alleged poaching bid.

However, refuting the claims, the BJP had said the allegations are "staged" and that the videos are "recordings with hired actors".

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November 21,2022

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The union government of India, on November 21, cancelled Air Suvidha forms for international passengers.

Air Suvidha is a contactless solution by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Health Family Welfare, which is facilitated by Delhi Airport for all international passengers coming to India.

Air Suvidha is a self-declaration for International arriving passengers.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the decision to discontinue the self-deceleration will begin from 22 November.

Following the announcement people flying into India from abroad will no longer need to fill out the Air Suvidha form from November 21-22 midnight and will also not be required to take a RT-PCR COVID-19 test.

Passengers, including children of five years and above, had to get RTPCR tests before boarding a flight back to India since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RTPCR tests on foreign shores are typically costlier than in India.

Also, it is no longer mandatory for international arrivals to be vaccinated — though it remains preferable. The relaxation comes days after India had made it optional — though, again preferable, — for air travellers to remain masked on aircraft and at airports.

Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated, taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol.

All travellers will need to self-monitor their health post arrival.

The government’s move has come as a big relief for the NRIs across the world who often travel home back. “This is a welcoming decision, which will reduce burden on international passengers while travelling back to India,” said Farook Portfolio, CEO, Portway Travel, Jubail, KSA.  
Last week, the government made wearing masks optional for passengers flying domestic and international flights due to the vastly improved pandemic situation.

The guidelines have been revised in light of sustained declining Covid-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in Covid-19 vaccination coverage both globally and in India.

India has been lifting Covid time restrictions like those on domestic airfare range; in-flight meal and beverage serving/selling; number of domestic flights allowed; restriction on scheduled international flights and testing and quarantine requirements as the pandemic situation improved over the past few quarters.
 

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November 18,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism, which cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality or group.

He also said that terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalise youth and raise financial resources and the darknet is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities.

"Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security. But I believe that the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself because the 'means and methods' of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world," Shah said addressing the third 'No Money for Terror Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing' hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs here.

He said, "We also recognise that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group".

"To confront terrorism, we have made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems," the Union home minister said.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Shah said there are countries that "seek to undermine or even hinder, our collective resolve to fight terrorism".

"We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions," he said. 

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