5:31 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Prime Minister Modi, thank you for being here with us today. It’s a great honor to welcome the leader of the world’s largest democracy to the White House.
I have always had a deep admiration for your country and for its people, and a profound appreciation for your rich culture, heritage and traditions. This summer, India will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its independence, and on behalf of the United States, I want to congratulate the Indian people on this magnificent milestone in the life of your very, very incredible nation.
During my campaign, I pledged that if elected, India would have a true friend in the White House. And that is now exactly what you have — a true friend. The friendship between the United States and India is built on shared values, including our shared commitment to democracy. Not many people know it, but both American and the Indian constitutions begin with the same three very beautiful words: We the people.
The Prime Minister and I both understand the crucial importance of those words, which helps to form the foundation of cooperation between our two countries. Relations between countries are strongest when they are devoted to the interests of the people we serve. And after our meetings today, I will say that the relationship between India and the United States has never been stronger, has never been better.
I’m proud to announce to the media, to the American people, and to the Indian people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media — (laughter) — we’re believers — giving the citizens of our countries the opportunity to hear directly from their elected officials, and for us to hear directly from them. I guess it’s worked very well in both cases.
I am thrilled to salute you, Prime Minister Modi, and the Indian people for all that you are accomplishing together. Your accomplishments have been vast. India has the fastest growing economy in the world. We hope we’re going to be catching you very soon in terms of percentage increase, I have to tell you that. We’re working on it.
In just two weeks, you will begin to implement the largest tax overhaul in your country’s history — we’re doing that also, by the way — creating great new opportunities for your citizens. You have a big vision for improving infrastructure, and you are fighting government corruption, which is always a grave threat to democracy.
Together, our countries can help chart an optimistic path into the future, one that unleashes the power of new technology, new infrastructure, and the enthusiasm and excitement of very hardworking and very dynamic people.
I look forward to working with you, Mr. Prime Minister, to create jobs in our countries, to grow our economies, and to create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal. 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.
I was pleased to learn about an Indian Airlines recent order of 100 new American planes, one of the largest orders of its kind, which will support thousands and thousands of American jobs. We’re also looking forward to exporting more American energy to India as your economy grows, including major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas, which are right now being negotiated, and we will sign them. Trying to get the price up a little bit.
To further our economic partnership, I’m excited to report that the Prime Minister has invited my daughter, Ivanka, to lead the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this fall. And I believe she has accepted.
Finally, the security partnership between the United States and India is incredibly important. Both our nations have been struck by the evils of terrorism, and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them. We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism. Our militaries are working every day to enhance cooperation between our military forces. And next month, they will join together with the Japanese navy to take place in the largest maritime exercise ever conducted in the vast Indian Ocean.
I also thank the Indian people for their contributions to the effort in Afghanistan, and for joining us in applying new sanctions against the North Korean regime. The North Korean regime is causing tremendous problems and is something that has to be dealt with, and probably dealt with rapidly.
Working together, I truly believe our two countries can set an example for many other nations, make great strides in defeating common threats, and make great progress in unleashing amazing prosperity and growth.
Prime Minister Modi, thank you again for joining me today, and for visiting our country and our wonderful White House and Oval Office. I enjoyed our very productive conversation this afternoon, and look forward to its continuation tonight at dinner. The future of our partnership has never looked brighter. India and the United States will always be tied together in friendship and respect.
Prime Minister Modi, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
PRIME MINISTER MODI: (As interpreted.) President Donald Trump and First Lady, Vice President, ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen of the media: Right from the opening tweet to the end of our talks, President Trump’s welcome, which was filled with friendliness, his warm welcome to the White House by himself and the First Lady, I would like to thank both of you from the bottom of my heart for this warm welcome.
I would also like to give a special thanks to you, President Trump, for having spent so much time with me, for having spoken such kind words about me and my country. And I would like to tell you that I’m eager to welcome your daughter to India for the Entrepreneurship Summit.
President Trump, I’d once again like to thank you for the time that you have spent with me. I’d like to give you special thanks for that.
My visit and our talks today will mark a very important page in the history of the collaboration and cooperation between our two nations. The talks between his Excellency, President Trump, and myself today have been extremely important from all points of view, for several reasons: Because they were based on mutual trust; because of the convergence and similarities they revealed in our values, and our priorities, and in our concerns and interests; because they focused on the highest levels of achievement in our cooperation, and mutual support, and partnership; because our two countries are global engines of growth; because the all-around or comprehensive economic growth and joint progress of both countries and both societies is the main objective for both the President and myself, and will remain so; because the top priority for both President Trump and myself is to protect our society from global challenges like terrorism; and because our aim is the strengthening of India and the USA — two great democracies in the world — friends.
Our robust strategic partnership is such that it touches upon almost all areas of human endeavor. In our conversation today, President Trump and I have discussed all dimensions of India-U.S. relations at length. Both nations are committed to a bilateral architecture that will take our strategic partnership to new heights.
In this relationship, in both countries, increased productivity, growth, job creation, and breakthrough technologies — an engagement towards all these are, and will remain, strong drivers of our cooperation, and will give further momentum to our relationship.
We consider the USA as our primary partner for India’s social and economic transformation in all our flagship programs and schemes. I am sure that the convergence between my vision for a “new India and President Trump’s vision for “making America great again” will add new dimensions to our cooperation.
I am very clear about the fact that India’s interests lie in a strong, and prosperous, and successful America. In the same way, India’s development and its growing role at the international level are in the USA’s interest.
One of our common priorities will be the development of trade, commerce, and investment links. And in this regard, in the technology, innovation, and knowledge-economy sectors, the expansion and deepening of cooperation is also among our priorities. Towards this end, we shall take steps to further strengthen our successful digital partnership.
Friends, we are not just partners by chance. We are also partners in dealing with current and future challenges that we may be faced with. Today, during our meeting, we discussed the serious challenges of terrorism, extremism, and radicalization, which are the major challenges facing the world today. And we have agreed to enhance our cooperation in fighting against these scourges. Fighting terrorism and doing away with the safe shelters, sanctuaries, and safe havens will be an important part of our cooperation.
With respect to our common concerns on terrorism, we will also enhance our sharing of intelligence, and exchange information to deepen and expand our policy coordination as far as possible.
We also spoke at length on regional issues. The increasing instability, due to terrorism, in Afghanistan is one of our common concerns. Both India and America have played an important role in rebuilding Afghanistan and ensuring its security. In order to attain our objectives for peace and stability in Afghanistan, we will maintain close consultation and communication with the U.S. to enhance coordination between our two nations.
In the Indo-Pacific region, in order to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, this is also another objective of our strategic cooperation in this area. The increasing possibilities for enhancing cooperation in order to protect our strategic interests will continue to determine the dimensions of our partnership. We will continue to work with the USA in this region.
With regard to security-related challenges, our enhanced and growing defense and security cooperation is extremely important. We have spoken at length on this subject as well.
The strengthening of India’s defense capabilities, with the help of USA, is something that we truly appreciate. We have also decided to enhance maritime security cooperation between the two nations. President Trump and I have also spoken about strengthening bilateral defense technology and our trade and manufacturing partnership, which we believe will be mutually beneficial to us.
We also discussed international issues and our common strategic interests. In this context, we are extremely grateful for the continued support of the United States for India’s membership of international institutions and regimes. We truly appreciate the support, because this is also in the interest of both our nations.
President Trump, I thank you for your feelings of friendship towards India and myself. I deeply appreciate your strong commitment to the enhancement of our bilateral relations. I am sure that under your leadership, our mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights, and that your vast and successful experience in the business world will lend an aggressive and forward-looking agenda to our relations.
In this journey of India-America relations, I think I would like to thank you for providing great leadership. Be assured that in this joint journey of our two nations towards development, growth and prosperity, I will remain a driven, determined, and decisive partner.
Excellency, my visit today and the extensive talks I have held with you have been very successful, very fruitful. And before leaving this mic, I would like to invite you to India, along with your family. And I hope that you will give me the opportunity to welcome you and host you in India.
And at the end, once again, I’d like to thank you for the warm welcome extended by you and the First Lady to myself and my delegation, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you.
5:51 P.M. EDT