Trump hosts Indian PM Modi to discuss H1-B visas, security & more

Trump hosts Indian PM Modi to discuss H1-B visas, security & more
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump are meeting face-to-face for the first time. Paramount in their discussions are the issues of trade, security, energy and immigration, as well as regional issues between India and Pakistan.

Following their meeting within the White House on Monday afternoon, Trump and Modi issued statements from the White House Rose Garden.

Trump went first, saying that he promised during his campaign that India would have "a true friend in the White House, and that is now exactly what you have."

Trump also lauded his and Modi's social media prowess, which he said brought them closer to their citizens.

Trump said that in order to further economic partnership, barriers must be removed for American exports and that the trade deficit be shrunk.

On defense, Trump said the US and India were "both determined to destroy terrorist organizations."

"I enjoyed our very productive conversation this afternoon and look forward to its continuation this evening over dinner," Trump said.

Through a translator, Modi said that their meeting "will mark a very important page in the history of collaboration and cooperation between our two nations."

The meeting covered "all dimensions of US-India relations at length," Modi said.

Modi expressed a desire to strengthen the countries' economic partnership, with a focus on technology.

"I would like to invite you to India, along with your family," Modi said, turning to Trump.

There were no questions taken from reporters, and Trump and Modi returned to the White House together after their remarks.

There was no shortage of topics for the meeting between Trump and Modi, as the US-India relationship is marked by a series of policy disagreements between the two leaders.

From the Paris Agreement on climate change to US work visas for skilled foreigners, Trump has taken an opposite view to Modi's positions. The same goes for Trump's stance toward Iran, as Modi supports the internationally agreed-upon framework that further limited Iran's civilian nuclear energy program. The Trump administration has not taken action against the nuclear deal with Iran, but has repeatedly referred to the country as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump has also softened the tone he took on the campaign trail against China, a strategic adversary of India's. Trump has aimed to rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons program through cooperation with China.

The US has yet to assign an ambassador to New Delhi or place an assistant secretary of state on South Asian affairs.