In a major setback to the Imran Khan government, President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that India and the US were together in their fight against “radical Islamic terrorism” and his government was committed to “confront” terrorists operating from Pakistan’s soil.
In a joint press briefing of the US and India, President Trump at Hyderabad House in the capital said during his discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “the two countries agreed to protect their citizens from radical Islamic terrorism”.
“The US is also working productively with Pakistan to confront terrorists who operate on its soil.”
The President’s scathing attack against Islamabad and holding it responsible for terror groups operating from Pakistan’s soil, comes a day after he said, during his Ahmedabad visit, that the US has very good relations with Pakistan.
During the briefing, both Trump and Modi reaffirmed their commitment to US-India strategic partnership in all areas from defense to women empowerment.
The US President said that during their discussions in New Delhi today, the two countries have agreed to expanded defense cooperation. India, he said, is “to purchase more than $3 billion of advance American military equipment, Apache and MH60 Romeo helicopters, the finest in the world.”
These deals, he said, will enhance the US-India joint defense capability as militaries of the countries continue to train and operate side by side.
President Trump said that together with PM Modi, they were revitalizing the QUAD initiative with US, India, Australia and Japan. He said the first ministerial meeting on QUAD was “so much more than a meeting” because they had agreed to cooperate on counter-terrorism, cyber security and maritime security for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
As India grows, he said, its energy needs will rise too. The President revealed that Exxon Mobil had signed a deal “to improve India’s natural gas distribution network so that the US can export even more LNG to India.”
Trump also announced the setting up of a permanent office for the US International Finance Development Cooperation in New Delhi which will help develop and empower women entrepreneurs in India.