Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US Vice President Mike Pence in Singapore today and conveyed that there is a great opportunity for the US to make defence equipment in India and set up defence Industry as India can become a hub of export to the rest of the region. He was meeting Pence on the sidelines of East Asia Summit.
Both the leaders discussed bilateral ties, including defence cooperation and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Pence is representing President Donald Trump at the ASEAN and East Asia Summit in Singapore. PM Modi has gone to Singapore to attend East Asia Summit, an ASEAN-India informal meet, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership summit. He was also
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a warm meeting with Vice-President of United States Michael Pence in Singapore. Productive discussion on all aspects of global strategic partnership based on growing convergence of interests on regional and global issues,” tweeted Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
Later, briefing media, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhle said, Pence acknowledged that India has made substantial progress economically and diplomatically in regional and international affairs. He also appreciated the strong leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
Gokhale said both sides agreed that there has been substantial enhancement in defence related import of equipment from the US. The foreign secretary said both leaders also discussed terrorism. He said referring to the upcoming anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, Pence appreciated the cooperation built between US and India on counter-terrorism.
Pence said he feels that India is a positive factor in regional and international relations. He said the US looks forward to working with India on various issues both on the political side and economic side to ensure that they have fair rules based on international order.
Referring to his speech during Shangri la dialogue in June this year on Indo Pacific region, Prime Minister said his vision on the subject was gaining acceptability. He said they should utilise the East Asia Summit to further build upon that. Vice President Pence said India’s contribution in ensuring free and open Indo Pacific area is very important. Both the leaders discussed how the US and India can strengthen cooperation in this area.
PM Modi and Pence also discussed trade and energy-related matters. India expressed its readiness to import more gas and oil from the US as a way of expanding trade.
PM Modi said the contribution of Indians in America should be considered while deciding the issue of H1B visa.
Prime Minister appreciated that US president Donald Trump organised a meeting in the White House yesterday to celebrate the festival of Deepawali.
"The United States has deep ties to the nation of India and I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi," US President Donald Trump said before lighting the ceremonial Diya in the historic Roosevelt Room of the White House. It is the second consecutive year that Donald Trump has celebrated the largest festival of India and Indian Americans in the White House.
President Trump, his daughter Ivanaka Trump was present in the room along with nearly two dozen top Indian American officials of his administration. Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, his wife Dr Avina Sarna, and his special assistant Pratik Mathur were also present in the White House Deepawali celebrations.
"Modi is my friend and now her (Ivanka) friend and has great respect for India and the Indian people that I can say," said the US President as he introduced his daughter to the audience, who was present in the room. "Absolutely," replied Ms Ivanka, who had visited India last year.