WASHINGTON: The camaraderie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump was on full display today as the two leaders heaped praise on each other, voiced appreciation for each other's leadership and embraced more than once at the White House.
The two leaders underlined the the close ties between their countries, with Trump saying India has a "true friend" in the White House.
Trump said the friendship between the United States and India is built on shared values, "including our shared commitment to democracy."
"During my campaign, I pledged that if elected, India would have a true friend in the White House. And that is now exactly what you have, a true friend," Trump said at the White House Rose Garden following his first bilateral meeting with Modi.
"I am thrilled to salute you, Prime Minister Modi, and the Indian people for all that you are accomplishing together. Your accomplishments have been vast," Trump said.
Modi on his part said he deeply appreciates Trump's strong commitment to the enhancement of bilateral relations.
"I am sure that under your leadership, our mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights, and that your vast and successful experience in the business world will lend an aggressive and forward-looking agenda to our relations," he said.
Modi said he would like to thank Trump for his "great leadership" in building US-India relations.
"Be assured that in this joint journey of our two nations towards development, growth and prosperity, I will remain a driven, determined, and decisive partner," he said.
Trump said he enjoyed his "very productive conversation" with Modi, saying the "the future of our partnership has never looked brighter. India and the United States will always be tied together in friendship and respect."
After Trump finished his speech, Modi walked towards the US president and hugged him. After Modi's speech, the two leaders again briefly embraced.
Yet another hug was to come between the two, this time at the White House portico, as Modi departed for his hotel.