US & Canada

Donald Trump and Narendra Modi vow to fight terror together

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Media captionThe leaders spoke to reporters after their first-ever meeting

US President Donald Trump and Indian PM Narendra Modi have met for the first time in Washington DC, vowing to fight terrorism together while issuing a warning to Pakistan.

The two leaders, who hugged each other in front of reporters, also praised their countries' warm relations.

They discussed increasing trade links and security co-operation.

Mr Modi was also the first foreign dignitary to have dinner at the White House with Mr Trump.

A White House statement said the two leaders "resolved that India and the US will fight together" against terrorism which they called a "grave challenge to humanity", pledging to expand the sharing of intelligence and deepen joint counter-terrorism efforts.

They also "called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries".

The leaders said they would strengthen co-operation against threats including Pakistan-based militant groups Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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Image caption Trade and security were high on the agenda at the White House

They urged Pakistan to "expeditiously bring to justice" those behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and last year's attack on an air base in Pathankot, which Indian officials have suggested were perpetrated by those two militant groups.

India has seen several terror attacks in recent years which Delhi claims were conducted by Pakistan-based militants.

It has also accused Pakistan of secretly sponsoring some of these attacks, which Pakistan has strongly denied.

India also "appreciated" the recent move by the US to label top Kashmiri militant Syed Salahuddin a "specially designated global terrorist", the White House said. The move effectively blocks him from transactions in the US.

On the same page - Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, India correspondent

The Trump administration's strong words on Pakistan and terror will be seen as a major diplomatic victory for India.

Previous US presidents, such as Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, also came out with similar rhetoric but it never translated to anything more substantial, mainly because both were warned by the state department of the perils of isolating Pakistan.

In Donald Trump, however, Delhi senses a difference - a president who is more blunt and outspoken on Islamist terror without worrying about any potential diplomatic fallout.

So on that score, Trump and Modi are on the same page. But India's main concern is Pakistani support for Kashmiri separatist groups, at a time when the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir is particularly tense.

The US, on the other hand, is more concerned with the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan's perceived support for militant groups operating there as well as the Taliban, at a time when President Trump has approved plans to increase American troops on the ground.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Modi and Mr Trump gave a joint news conference in the White House's Rose Garden.

"The relationship between India and the United States has never been stronger, never been better," President Trump said.

He praised Indian airline SpiceJet's recent order of 100 planes from US manufacturer Boeing, and said he looked forward to exporting more energy resources to India, including natural gas.

Mr Trump, who regularly posts on Twitter, also described himself and Mr Modi as "world leaders in social media".

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Media captionIndians share their love for US culture

Mr Modi said the US was India's "primary partner" for its social and economic transformation, and that his plan for a "new India" converged with Mr Trump's "vision for 'making America great again'".

He invited President Trump and his family to visit India, which Mr Trump accepted, said the White House.

Mr Trump said his daughter, Ivanka, would also be leading a US delegation to an entrepreneurship summit in India later this year.

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Image caption Mr Modi and Mr Trump dined in the Blue Room of the White House

Earlier in his trip to the US, Mr Modi met the heads of 20 US companies, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai.

He told them that his government had pushed through thousands of reforms to make India "business friendly".

He later tweeted: "Interacted with top CEOs. We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India."

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