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Donald Trump invites Narendra Modi to visit Washington later this year

Washington: US President Donald Trump has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the outcome of recent state elections and expressed his support to the Indian leader’s economic reform agenda, the White House said today. A day after Trump called Modi, the third telephonic conversation after his electoral victory in November last year, the White House said the US President looks forward to hosting the Prime Minister later this year.

“President Donald J Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to congratulate him on the outcome of India’s recent state-level elections,” the White House said in a readout of the call which took place yesterday.

“President Trump expressed support for the Prime Minister’s economic reform agenda and emphasized his great respect for the people of India,” it said.

“President Trump also said he looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in Washington later this year,” said the statement issued by the White House.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump congratulated Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday on their electoral victories.

“The president spoke with German Chancellor Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Modi earlier today to congratulate them on their parties’ success in recent elections,” Spicer said. The two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Germany in July.

Following the elections, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government in four states: Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa. It, however, lost Punjab to main rival Congress.

Merkel’s Christian Democrat party easily won an election in the Saarland state on Sunday, dealing an early blow to centre-left hopes of ending her more than decade-long reign. “The two leaders also used the occasion to reflect on the Chancellor’s March 17 visit to the White House. The President said he looked forward to visiting Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 Summit on July 7th and 8th,” the White House said.

Previously, Modi and Trump talked by phone on January 24,when they had resolved to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the global fight against terrorism and for defence and security. According to a White House statement then, Trump had “emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world.”

Prime Minister Modi was the fifth foreign leader Trump had spoken to on phone after he was sworn-in as the US President on January 20. He had by then spoken to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. After Trump’s surprise victory in the November 8 elections, Modi was among the first world leaders to congratulate him.

PTI