Story highlights

White House: US and India must stand "shoulder to shoulder"

Modi: "Warm" conversation with Trump

CNN  — 

Donald Trump spoke with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a call Tuesday, one of the few world leaders the new US President has spoken to since taking office on Friday.

According to a White House statement, Trump emphasized that Washington considers India a “true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world.” 

The new US leader also said he was looking forward to welcoming Modi in the US later this year.

Modi’s a frequent visitor to the US; he’s made four official visits since he assumed office in 2014. Last June marked the seventh time he had met former President Barack Obama.

On the call, Trump and Modi were said to have discussed opportunities to strengthen their partnership on the economy and defense, though no details were given.

They also discussed security in south and central Asia, a region that encompasses Pakistan and Afghanistan, and resolved to “stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism.”

Modi tweeted that he had a “warm conversation” with the President and said the pair had “agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties.”

He added that he had invited Trump to visit India.

President Obama once said India and the United States would form the “defining partnership” of the 21st century.

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Modi addresses Congress as U.S.-India ties bloom
02:14 - Source: CNN

Trade between the two countries has grown five-fold in the last decade to more than $100 billion dollars.

However, there could be one sticking point on the horizon. President Trump has said he may clamp down on highly skilled H-1B visas, which Indian companies rely heavily on.

They allow foreign workers to fill skill gaps in the US workforce. Critics argue the system is being exploited to recruit cheaper foreign workers.

There was no mention of the issue in the White Houses’s readout of the call.