Indian PM Modi, US President Trump discuss trade, Iran, 5G, defence at G20 bilateral summit

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Osaka [Japan], June 28: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and discussed 5G technology, defence ties, and US sanctions on importing Iranian crude oil.

According to ANI news reports, Modi kicked-off the meeting with Trump with expressing gratitude towards the congratulatory message received from the latter on declaring victory in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 for the straight second term securing the position for five years.

The prime minister said, “I am really happy to have this opportunity to meet you. I would like to express my gratitude after the huge democracy in India gave me the second mandate. Immediately after securing the landslide victory, you (Trump) called me over the telephone and congratulated me. And two days ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo carried a letter from you which was a very warm letter and expressed the kinds of sentiments that you have towards India.”

Trump, on this side, assured Modi that the US and India would continue to cooperate closely on defence and trade ties. Trump said, “I’ll assure you we’ll become great friends. We have never been so close. You indeed had a great election victory. You have done a great job. We’ll work together in many ways including the military. We’ll be discussing trade and manufacturing today.”

While discussing Iran, the US president said, “The message is the same as the last three days. We have a lot of time, no rush. They can take their time. This is absolutely no time pressure. I think in the end hopefully it’s going to work out … If it works out, great, if it doesn’t, you will be hearing about it.”

Discussing trade ties with India, Trump said, “We’ll be doing great with India. India is doing good. Everybody wants to be a part of America’s economy.”

Trump and Modi held open and very productive discussions over several issues but didn’t discuss the issue of the Russian S-400 air defence missile system deal, according to the ministry of external affairs.

During a media conference, Foreign minister Vijay Gokhale said, “It was a very productive and open discussion. We will take things forward. There was very little discussion on defence issues. S-400 issue was not discussed. We highlighted the potential of cooperation in this area which was welcomed, President Trump.”

“IT was agreed that trade ministers of both countries would meet on an early date and would try to sort out these issues. Both US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and their Treasury Secretary StevenMnuchin were in the room. Now, we expect an early meeting.”

Modi did mention India has taken some actions after the GSP was revoked, Gokhale said, the two leaders also agreed they and officilas will continue to remain in touch in order to ensure the region remains stable in the interest of the US and India.

On 5G, both were concerned to bring the focus over how can they leverage their market and both nations capabilities in technology and designs of software, Gokhale said.

When asked whether the defence and trade tensions have impacted both sides, Gokhale said, “No one issue is going to impact the largest strategic relation between US and India which is deep and broad. We have some issues. We will work on it.”

In the meantime, other world G20 leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Osaka to attend the G20 summit.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Italy, Indonesia, Germany, Russia, China, Canada, France, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, European Union, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States have to participate in the two-day summit of Group of 20 (G20).




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