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Trump Invites Indian PM to Visit Later This Year

  • Associated Press

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech after he inaugurated the country's first international exchange in Gandhinagar, India, Jan. 9, 2017.

President Donald Trump spoke by phone Tuesday with India's prime minister and invited him to visit the United States later in the year.

Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the U.S. considers India “a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world,” a White House statement said.

The two leaders resolved to “stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism.” They also discussed cooperation in economy and defense, and security in South and Central Asia.

Trump looked forward to hosting Modi in the United States later this year, the statement said.

Pakistan a shared concern

The U.S. and India are the world's two largest democracies. They share concerns about militancy emanating from Pakistan and about the rise of China.

During the U.S. election campaign, when Trump often used negative rhetoric against foreign nations, he was largely positive about India. He praised Modi for championing bureaucratic reform and economic growth.

Modi an electoral success

Modi has enjoyed electoral success like Trump through his populist and nationalist appeal.

U.S.-India relations generally prospered under the Obama administration, but New Delhi will be hoping that Trump takes a tougher line on Pakistan, which receives substantial U.S. aid.

India and Pakistan are neighbors and have fought three wars.