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US, India going to be substantially closer: American official


The meeting between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a clear message around the world that ties bewteen the two countries are going to be “substantially closer”, Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said.

“There was a picture yesterday that I happened to see… of these two individuals embracing each other. And I think that was a clear message around the world that the US and India are going to be substantially closer,” Perry said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

“Energy is going to play a very, very important role in that,” he added.

Perry, talking about the working dinner the US President hosted for the Indian leader on Monday, said Trump and Modi discussed LNG (liquefied natural gas), clean coal and nuclear side among other things.

“At dinner, we talked about the three areas of which there will be great back-and-forth cooperation — deal-making, if you will. One of those is in LNG. The other side of that is in clean coal. Thirdly is on the nuclear side.

“So there is great opportunity for India and the US to become even stronger allies, stronger partners — energy being the glue that will hold that partnership together for a long, long time.”

The US State Department described Modi’s first face-to face meeting with Trump as “successful”.

“Modi departed Washington after a successful trip to Washington,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

Trump called Modi a “true friend” twice — after their meeting in Oval Office and while shaking his hands and hugging him at the end of their media appearance at the Rose Garden.

Both the leaders discussed a range of issues including terrorism, defence and trade. Trump said it was “a great honour” to host Modi “who has been such a great PM”.

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