US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has thanked the people of India who came out in support of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania during their maiden visit to the country, underlining that they have friends in America and the White House.
The president was accompanied by a high-powered delegation comprising senior Trump administration officials including NSA O’Brien during his maiden official visit to India from February 24 to 25. They visited Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi before leaving for Washington on Tuesday.
O’Brien, on his way back to the US, thanked the people of India for their support to President Trump, his wife and the American delegation.
“Thanks to all the people of India that came out to support President Trump and the First Lady, Melania Trump, and the US delegation, affirming their friendship and partnership far into the future,” O’Brien said in a tweet.
– Robert C. O’Brien (@robertcobrien) February 25, 2020
“You have friends in the USA and in the White House,” the NSA said.
Separately, the White House in a tweet thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for their incredible hospitality.
The White House tweet said President Trump and Prime Minister Modi talked at length about the India-Pakistan relationship.
In a stern message to Pakistan, India and the US on Tuesday asked Islamabad to ensure that no territory under its control is used to launch terror attacks and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms.
A joint statement said the two leaders called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.
The two leaders also called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, D-Company, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
At a press conference, the US president also said that ways to deal with terrorism figured prominently in his talks with Prime Minister Modi who, Trump stressed, is determined to check the menace.
Meanwhile, The Foreign Policy magazine said that Trump left New Delhi without delivering on an “incredible” trade deal despite years of high-level negotiations.
“As Washington is discovering, it is not easy dealing with a country led by a populist leader with a strong mandate and a proclivity towards protectionism. Despite those hurdles, the broader trendlines in the US-India relationship continue to seem robust, as shown by the visit itself,” the magazine said.
Major American newspapers prominently reported about the visit.
“As he completed his two-day stay, Mr Trump focused only on the positive, offering validation of Mr Modi as a champion of religious liberty even as the Indian government has adopted Hindu-first policies targeting Muslims,” The New York Times said.
“The president publicly accepted Mr Modi”s word that he treats the 1.3 billion people in his diverse country fairly without regard to faith and made no mention of the months of protests by those who think otherwise.
“The president stressed the strength of his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in meetings long on symbolism and short on concrete agreements,” the NYT reported.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s diplomatic drop-in was as intense as it was brief, with his hosts providing expansive red-carpet treatment that the president used to celebrate the most politically favourable stretch of his presidency.
The daily said Trump’s momentum was greeted in India on Monday by a splashy, two-day display that combined Prime Minister Modi’s political power with the vibrant sights, sounds and spices of his nation”s culture.
In an op-ed on Fox News, James Jay Carafano said that there is a bipartisan character to US-India relations in both countries. This is more than just two charismatic leaders and the offer of free hats pulling in a crowd.
“The US and India have forged something new and unprecedented. We are not old-fashioned treaty allies, but we are way more than just friends. This is a vital strategic partnership. We know that from the most distant Pacific Island to the Middle East we have each other”s back. This is a new geostrategic reality in the world,” he wrote.
In a news report, USA Today said that Trump defended Modi’s government, saying it “worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom,” though critics say the law discriminates against Muslims.
President Tump used the visit to highlight accomplishments on defence cooperation and strengthening ties between the two countries, The Hill newspaper said.
“He celebrated US-India relations and his bond with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as the Indian leader’s Hindu nationalist party came under further scrutiny for its controversial citizenship law during Trump’s visit,” it added.