Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Ties with india and Pakistan not zero sum: White House

Ties with india and Pakistan not zero sum: White House

Prime minister Narendra Modi Saturday held talks with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa and discussed ways to further intensify bilateral relations.

Defense cooperation, the US trade deficit with India, counter-terrorism efforts and regional tensions are expected to be discussed between the two leaders.

"We realise that the pace and scope of that relationship is going to be different in each case", the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said in response to a question on concerns in Pakistan with regard to increasing ties with India. Since 2008, India and the USA have signed US$15 billion (Dh55.1bn) in defence contracts.

Over the course of 10 days, the leader of the world's largest democracy will forge important ties with the leader of the world's oldest and strongest democracy, and then demonstrate by his very presence the substantial and hitherto often hidden bond between India and Israel. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Modi said the "historical and friendly ties" between the two nations have improved since PM Costa visited India in January 2017.

"The White House is very interested in making this a special visit".

The Institute's Director of Asian Security Lindsey Ford said while Trump and Modi may have challenging waters to navigate on the economic front, especially regarding trade deficits and visa issues, a "bright spot" in their conversation is likely to be the security and defence relationship.

However, a senior administration official refrained from confirming reports that the State Department has approved the sale of 22 Guardian drones to India. The deal would be the first such purchase by a country that is not a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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Trump authorized the sale, the manufactures said on Friday, but the offer is still subject to congressional approval.

Modi and Trump will have one-on-one talks followed by a meeting between delegations.

He also addressed the Indian community and presented the Overseas Citizen of India card to Costa. "Support on these two fronts would reassure India greatly", Gupta said.

"This visit is an opportunity to advance that trade dialogue that will enhance prosperity and create jobs for both countries", the official said.

Both are fairly focused on dealmaking, Kumar said, Trump as a businessman and Modi from his time as chief minister of the business-friendly Indian state of Gujarat.

"They support democracy, democratic development there", he said, listing out the developmental activities by India in the war-torn country.

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