Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trump applauds Indian democracy, PM Modi

Trump applauds Indian democracy, PM Modi

Buoyed by President Donald Trump's gushing praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent APEC summit in Vietnam, Indian diplomats are hoping for a rich outcome when the two leaders meet in Manila on the sidelines of the Asean summit on Monday.

Speaking at the gathering of CEOs as part of the summit, Trump said Modi has been successful in bringing the people of India together despite being a heterogeneous country. Redressing the balance of trade between Asia and the United States is at the centre of Trump's "America First" policy he says will protect U.S. workers.

Mr Trump, who has coined the geographical stretch "Indo-Pacific" to include India told APEC leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, that India was celebrating the 70th anniversary of its independence as a sovereign democracy with a population of 1.3 billion.

"And Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has been working to bring that vast country and its entire people as one. And he has been working at it very successfully indeed", the US President said.

The Trump administration views India favourably and sees the nation as a success story, which was reflected in Washington's latest South Asia strategy, where the USA is putting intense pressure on Pakistan to act against terror organisations on its soil, and strengthening India as a counterbalance to China in the Indo-Pacific region.

During the interaction with PM Modi, the football players talked about the experience and exposure that they gained during FIFA, both on and off the field.

"We have been friends, partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time", he said, adding, "The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future".

Trump arrived in Vietnam from China on the fourth leg of a 12-day trip to Asia.

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