At White House, Modi vows anti-terrorism effort
Trump: India alliance ‘has never looked brighter’
President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a show of friendship-at-first-sight in their initial face-to-face meeting at the White House on Monday, vowing enhanced military cooperation and intelligence sharing in the global fight against terrorism.
The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies appeared to brush aside disagreements over trade, immigration and climate change to forge a strategic alliance that they said would bolster security and prosperity in both the U.S. and India.
In a joint statement delivered in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump called the U.S.India security partnership “incredibly important.”
“Both our countries have been struck by the evils of terrorism, and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them,” the president said. “We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”
India has been a solid ally in U.S.-led anti-terror efforts, including playing a significant role in rebuilding Afghanistan. But Mr. Trump wants more from India, from battling Islamic State to confronting North Korea, and possibly greater involvement in the disputed South China Sea.
Mr. Trump noted that India would be joining the U.S. and Japan in the largest ever naval exercise in the Indian Ocean.
“The future of our partnership has never looked brighter,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Modi touted the enhanced strategic partnership, both military and economic, that he said would touch every facet of human endeavor.
“The top priority for both President Trump and myself [is] to protect our countries from global challenges such as terrorism,” he said. “Our aim is the strengthening of India and the USA, two great democracies in the world.”
Turning to Mr. Trump, he said: “I am sure that, under your leadership, our mutual strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity and will reach new heights.”
The two men did not announce a major deal during the Rose Garden event, although Mr. Trump said a deal on selling U.S. energy to India was in the offing.
Mr. Trump joked that they were “trying to get the price up a bit” to close the deal on natural gas.
Another deal in the works is U.S. authorization for India to buy a naval variant of the Predator drone for surveillance missions. It would be a major expansion of the military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries that began under President Barack Obama.
“On terrorism, they are on the same page,” said Dinesh Sharma, an India scholar at the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at New York’s Binghamton University. “Intelligence sharing, that’s one of the big drivers.”
The Trump administration also moved to demonstrate the desire to increase cooperation with India.
Just hours before Mr. Modi arrived at the White House, the State Department announced that the leader of an anti-India militant group in the Kashmir conflict was added to the list as a
Cooperating in the fight against climate change had been a central part of the U.S.-India relationship under President Barack Obama, but the issue was relegated to the back burner Monday during President Trump’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Modi’s remarks in the Rose Garden, energy and climate change were all but absent other than a brief mention of U.S. natural gas exports to India, which the president said he fully supports and hopes to finalize quickly.
The meeting came less than a month after Mr. Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, a deal India signed onto after prodding by the Obama administration and other world leaders. India is one of the world’s top polluters, and the world community views containing the country’s emissions as crucial to the effort to stop global warming.
Unlike his predecessor, who often
Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
The designation of Syed Salahuddin, also known as Mohammad Yusuf Shah, as a terrorist and the accompanying financial sanctions amounts to a major win for India in a decadeslong dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.
Mr. Salahuddin is a senior leader of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. touted joint efforts between the U.S. and India to fight climate change, Mr. Trump skirted the issue entirely Monday, instead focusing on how America can export fuel, technology and expertise to the developing country of more than 1 billion people.
“We’re also looking forward to exporting more American energy to India as your economy grows, as well as major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas, which are right now being negotiated and will be signed,” the president said.
Analysts say America’s exit from the Paris agreement doesn’t mean that India will abandon its efforts, even though international pressure from the U.S. has been lifted by Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris.
As part of its commitment under the landmark international deal, India promised to reduce the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product by at least 33 percent by 2030 when compared to 2005 levels. In an even more ambitious vow, the country said it will aim to get 40 percent of its electric
In September 2016 he vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers and turn the Kashmir valley “into a graveyard for Indian forces.”
Under Salahuddin’s tenure as senior group leader, Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several power from nonfossil fuel sources by 2030.
On the latter part of its goal, specialists say India is well on its way, and could actually hit the target much sooner, though some specific pieces of its commitment are contingent on international financial aid — aid that is now in question without U.S. participation in Paris.
Still, analysts believe that India sees natural gas and renewable fuel such as wind and solar power as central to its long-term energy future, and that Mr. Modi and other leaders view a greener energy sector as both beneficial to the planet and to its own economic growth.
The U.S. exit from Paris, they say, doesn’t necessarily mean India will suddenly pull back from its commitments, and pursuing those targets is likely to benefit the country in the long run.
“There’s too many national interests involved to think that … because one large entity moved out [of Paris] that they’re going to move out, too,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the
attacks, including an April 2014 attack in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir that injured 17 people, according to the State Department.
The move is aimed at buttressing Indian support for the Trump administration’s broader effort to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.
“It vindicates India’s longstanding Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Eighteen months after signing on to the Paris agreement, India is already outpacing its annual targets in installing new wind power generation. While it’s clear that coal will continue to play a large part in the country’s development — the country’s coal production is up during the first five months of the year — the country also is investing heavily in renewable fuels and has shown signs that such spending will continue years into the future.
With little in the way of direct cooperation between the U.S. and Indian governments on fighting climate change, specialists say the future of the bilateral relationship on energy could come from U.S. businesses exporting its goods and technology, particularly from the wind and solar sectors.
“That enormous drive for renewable energy in India — there are enormous opportunities for the U.S. private sector to engage in that,” said Paula Caballero, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute.
position that cross-border terrorism is behind the crisis created in Kashmir, especially since last year,” said Indian external affairs spokesman Gopal Baglay. “It underlines strongly the fact that both India and the U.S. face the threat of terrorism and are working together to counter this threat. Terrorism knows no boundaries.”
President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made statements in the Rose Garden of the White House Monday in which the two leaders renewed vows to fight Islamic extremism and increase military cooperation. “We are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them,” Mr. Trump said.