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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City

September 24, 2019

President Trump. Thank you very much. It's a great honor, as you know, to be with—because we were together just the other day in front of 59,000 people in the stadium, and that was a great day—Prime Minister Modi of India.

And we have many things to discuss. One of them—and perhaps in our case, one of the biggest ones—is trade. We do a lot of trade together, and we're working on that.

We'll also be discussing Kashmir. I imagine that will be brought up. And other things. But we have plenty to discuss. And the relationship has never been better, I say, than it is right now, between the Prime Minister, myself, India, and the United States. So it's a great honor to have you. Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Modi. First of all, I would like express my gratitude to President Trump that he was with me in Houston, day before yesterday. He took out time from his busy schedule to go to Houston. And he spent a lot of time with us.

And I think for the Indian community, people of Indian origin in the United States, this was an occasion of great pride. And for this, once again, let me thank President Trump from the bottom of my heart.

President Trump. Thank you.

Prime Minister Modi. After the formation of the new government, we haven't even completed 4 months, but during this period of time I've had the occasion to meet President Trump three times now. And we've had very detailed and fruitful discussions on many issues.

In the world, between the oldest and the largest democracy, this kind of nearness—this relationship of ease and this continuous engagement—I think countries coming together, which believe in democratic values, I think that's a very good sign for the world. For India and the United States, not only are we very close friends, but this is a friendship that is based on values, and this will continue to strengthen in the times to come.

As far as trade is concerned, I'm very happy that, day before yesterday, in Houston, in my presence there was an agreement signed by the Indian company, Petronet, for an amount of $2.5 billion, which is the amount of investment that the Indian company is going to do in the energy sector. And this will mean that in the years to come, in the decades to come, this will result in trade of an amount of $60 billion and create 50,000 jobs, which I think is a very big initiative taken by India.

President Trump is definitely my friend, but he is also a friend of India. And relations between India and the United States are proceeding at a very good and fast pace.

Once again, let me thank President Trump.

President Trump. Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Modi. Thank you.

Q. President Trump——

India-U.S. Trade

Q. Mr. President, you've mentioned—President Trump, you've mentioned trade. You—and Prime Minister Modi had, during the Houston event, said that you know the art of the deal. Can we expect something at the—on a trade deal in talks today? Or what the U.S. and India can do together to boost trade ties going forward?

President Trump. Well, I think very soon. We're doing very well. And Bob Lighthizer, who's right here, was negotiating with India and their very capable representatives. And I think very soon we'll have a trade deal. We'll have the larger deal down the road a little bit, but we will have a trade deal very soon.

Q. Mr. President——

Q. Mr. Trump——

Q. Sir, in Houston, you said——

Q. Mr. Trump——

President Trump. Go ahead.

Pakistan-U.S. Relations/India-Pakistan Relations/Iran

Q. You've been talking about, you know, clamping down on terrorism from across the globe. Pakistan has been the global epicenter of terrorism, sir. You spoke about it in Houston. How do you make sure that you clamp down on terrorism from Pakistan? Because that is posing a threat to democracies like the U.S. and India. Even the business interests suffer because of continued terrorism.

President Trump. Well, I had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Khan. It was a long meeting, and we discussed a lot. And I think he'd like to see something happen that would be very fruitful, very peaceful. And I think that will happen, ultimately. I really believe that these two great gentlemen will get together and work something.

I also—you know, you mentioned Pakistan, but Iran would have to be at the top of the list. Because if you look at terrorist states, that's been the number one for a long time.

But I really believe that Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan, they get along—they will get along when they get to know each other. And I think a lot of good things will come from that meeting.

Q. President Trump——

Q. [Inaudible]—the Prime Minister on——

Prime Minister Modi's Remarks in Houston, Texas

Q. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan admitted that thirty, forty thousand of terrorists are still in Pakistan. And yesterday, at the think-tank event, he again admitted that the Pakistan army and ISI trained Al Qaida. Separately, there are reports that thousands of terrorists are ready to enter through—infiltrate into India. In this backdrop, what would you like to give message to Pakistan?

President Trump. Well, I mean, the message is not for me to give, it's for Prime Minister Modi to give. And I think he gave that loud and clear on—the other day when we were together. [Laughter] He gave a pretty loud message. And I'm sure he'll be able to handle that situation.

Yes, sir. Go ahead.

Prime Minister Modi's Leadership/Prime Minister Modi's Remarks in Houston, Texas

Q. President Trump, this is a spectacular show you had with Prime Minister Modi in Houston.

President Trump. It was.

Q. What are the significance of this event for India-U.S. relations and your personal chemistry with Prime Minister Modi? Thank you.

President Trump. Well, my personal chemistry is as good as it can get. I have great respect. I have great admiration. And I really like him; that's another thing. And he's a great gentleman and a great leader.

And I remember India before. Now, not intimately, but I remember India before, and it was very torn. There was a lot of dissension, a lot of fighting. And he brought it all together, like a father would bring it together. Maybe he's the father of India. We'll call him "the father of India." I think that's not so bad. But he brought things together. And you don't hear that anymore. So I think he's done a fantastic job.

But I think that what the event showed is how much I like the country of India and I—how much I like your Prime Minister. There was tremendous spirit in that room too. And they love this gentleman to my right. [Laughter] They really do. Those people went crazy. That was like Elvis. That was like an American—he's like an American version of Elvis. [Laughter] It was like we brought in the middle of an all-American deal; Elvis Presley came back. No, he was—that was quite something. They love your Prime Minister. It's a great thing.

Q. Mr. President, will the United States have a roadmap——

Q. Mr. President, will you ask the Prime Minister to lift the state of emergency?

Q. Mr. President, in Houston, you said that——

Q. Will you ask the Prime Minister to lift the state of emergency?

Kashmir/India-Pakistan Relations/New Media

Q. ——that you stand with India in fight against Islamic radical terrorism. How do you see the statement coming from the Pakistani Prime Minister admitting that the Pakistani state, the ISI trained Al Qaida? How do you see——

President Trump. Well, I haven't heard that. I haven't heard that. And I know this: that your Prime Minister will take care of it.

Q. Sir, is there a roadmap to deal with radical Islamic terrorism?

Q. Will you ask the Prime Minister to lift the state of emergency?

President Trump. So if there's a problem, he'll—if there's a problem, he'll take care of it. It would be great if they could work out something on Kashmir. We all want to see that. I'm sure we all want to see it.

Q. But isn't terror a bigger issue, sir? Pakistan state-sponsored terror, is there a roadmap to deal with Pakistan state-sponsored terror?

President Trump. Boy, you have great reporters. I wish I had reporters like this. [Laughter] You're doing better than anybody I've ever heard. Where do you find these reporters? This is a great thing.

No, look, you have a great Prime Minister. He'll solve the problem. [Laughter] I have no doubt about it.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Please Prime Minister Modi. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:17 p.m. at United Nations Headquarters. Prime Minister Modi spoke in Hindi, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333891

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