Sun, 09 Aug 2020

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], Feb 24 (ANI): US President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States should be India's premier defence partner and the two countries will together protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Addressing a huge gathering at Motera stadium here, Trump said: "I believe that the United States should be India's premier defence partner, and that's the way it's working out. Together, we will defend our sovereignty, security, and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region for our children and for many, many generations to come."He said that the US will Tuesday sign deals to sell over USD $3 billion of "absolute finest, state-of-the-art military helicopters" and other equipment to the Indian armed forces.

Trump also reflected India's concerns on cross-border terrorism and said his administration was working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on the terrorist organisations and militants that operate "on the Pakistani border."He hoped that there will be reduced tensions in South Asia and noted that India has an important leadership role to play in shaping a better future in the region.

"The United States and India were committed to working together to stop terrorists and to fight their ideology. For this reason, since taking office, my administration is working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on the terrorist organisations and militants that operate on the Pakistani border," he said.

Trump said the relationship between the US and Pakistan "is a very good one.""Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan. And we are hopeful of reduced tensions, greater stability, and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia," he said.

The US President said India has an important leadership role to play in shaping a better future as it takes on greater responsibility for solving problems and promoting peace throughout this incredible region.

Trump said the United States and India are also firmly united in our iron-clad resolve to defend our citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.

"Both of our countries have been hurt by the pain and turmoil of terrorism and that terrorism brings. Under my administration, we unleashed the full power of the American military on bloodthirsty killers of ISIS in Iraq and in Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 per cent destroyed. And the monster known as al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of ISIS, is dead," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also referred to Indo-Pacific region in his remarks.

He said the two countries can not only make an effective contribution to peace in the Indo-Pacific but also in the entire world.

Modi said Trump coming to India at the beginning of the decade was a "big opportunity".

The US president referred to joint tri-service military exercise between the two countries as a major step.

"It was something to behold. We called it Tiger Triumph. As we continue to build our defence cooperation, the United States looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made - aeroplanes, missiles, rockets, ships. We make thebest. And we're dealing now with India. But this includes advanced air defence systems and armed and unarmed aerial vehicles," he said.

Trump said he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deepen the relationship between the two great countries during their talks.

"Both of us understand that when leaders put the interests of their own citizens first, we can forge strong and fair partnerships to build a safer and more prosperous world," he said. (ANI)

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