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Presidency under Trump boost for India-US ties

 Presidency under Trump boost for India-US ties

Washington - The billionaire businessman who has lauded economic policies of Modi had said he wants to work with him.


Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016, 7:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Nov 2016, 5:42 PM

The US presidency under Donald Trump, a confessed big fan of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is most likely to boost Indo-US strategic relationship with a special emphasis on defence ties and counter-terrorism cooperation.
Trump, 70, had recently described India as "a key, and key strategic ally" and looks forward to deepening the diplomatic and military cooperation that is the shared interest of both countries.
The billionaire businessman who has lauded economic policies of Modi had said he wants to work with him.
At an event in New Jersey less than a month from now, Trump had promised to the Indian-American community in him India would find a true friend at the White House.
"I am a big fan of Hindus and I am a big fan of India. If I am elected president, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House," he had said at an event organised by the Hindu Republican Coalition.
Trump said he appreciated "great friend India in the fight against" terrorism.
India has experienced firsthand "brutality of terror" in the past "including the mayhem in Mumbai," he said and described the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and that on Indian Parliament in 2001 as "absolutely outrageous" and terrible.
"We will defeat... terrorism. We will stand soldier-to-soldier in this fight. This is so important in the age of Daesh," he said.
"India's is the world's largest democracy and is a natural ally of the US. Under a Trump Administration, we are going to become even better friends. In fact, I will take the word even out because we are going to be best friends. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi, who has been very energetic in reforming the economy and bureaucracy. Great man. I applaud him," he said.
"I look forward to doing some serious bureaucratic trimming right here in the US, believe me we need it most," Trump said.
"Your great prime minister has been a pro-growth leader for India. He has simplified the tax code, cut the taxes and the economy is strong growing at 7 per cent year. Excellent," he said.
On the eve of the November 8 general elections, a key military advisor to the Trump said that India will have an important role to play in the Trump Administration's Asia Pacific policy of "peace through strength."
"This is a country that shares our values, this is a country that shares a lot of geo-political interest and I think, his (Trump's) work is going to be continuing the tradition of Bush Administration which made a lot of progress in that regard," Alexander Gray, a military adviser and author of several of the ambitious defence policies of Trump, said.
"We (at Trump Administration) would be looking to strengthen not just the cultural and economic aspect, but also on the defence side there is so much common ground with India. At a time when India's foreign policy is changing because of China and Pakistan, because of terrorism, we need to be there to greet them with open arms. I think, the Trump Administration is ready to do that," Gray said. 
Indian fan club celebrates victory
A far-right Hindu group which has been one of Donald Trump's most avid overseas cheerleaders began celebrating in New Delhi Wednesday as the Republican pulled off a shock US presidential election victory.
Vishnu Gupta, chief of the ultra-nationalist 'Hindu Sena' outfit, said supporters had taken to the streets to bang traditional drums even before Trump claimed victory and would also distribute celebratory sweets.
Trump's hardline rhetoric towards Muslims has found favour in some quarters in India, the world's largest democracy which has had its fair share of tensions between the majority Hindu population and its Muslim minority.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was before his 2014 election regarded as an international pariah after deadly communal riots broke out in the state of Gujarat more than a decade ago when he was chief minister. Most of the victims were Muslims.
Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States and Gupta said his message had wide resonance.
"We predicted that he would win five days ago - there is a huge support for him, his ideas, and we could see that," Gupta said."
Now terrorists will be hunted everywhere in the world, even if they go and hide in a cave. Now only God can help Pakistan. India will now have the support of the US in our efforts against terrorists. We will be together in this.
"Donald Trump will do what no other US president has been able to do before. We are happy. All terrorists should now run and hide.
"Gupta's group held a special prayer session for Trump in New Delhi back in May when he was seen as a long shot for the presidency, hailing him as a "fighter and a saviour of humanity".
They also celebrated his birth-day in June with a cake, balloons and posters.
Australia wants US to stay focused on Asia
Australia said on Wednesday it was crucial for Washington to stay focused on Asia as Donald Trump won the presidential election, with Canberra keen to see more US involvement in the region, not less.
Under President Barack Obama, the United States has pursued a foreign policy "pivot" towards the Asia-Pacific, including stationing marines in Australia, against the background of Beijing's increasing assertiveness.
With tensions high over China's claims in the South China Sea and fears Trump could be a negative for the region's trade prospects, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was critical that the US remain fully engaged. "Countries in our region are looking for more US leadership and not less in the Asia-Pacific," she told Sky News in the first Australian reaction to Trump's win over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
As parliament sat on Wednesday, Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull closely watched results flow through on their mobile phones.
Bishop said Canberra wanted to continue working closely with any new administration and meet soon "to ensure it focuses on our region and the importance of US leader-ship and a US presence in the Asia-Pacific". (AFP)
Warm congratulations' sent from Philippines
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has publicly abused US President Ba-rack Obama and threatened to downgrade ties with the US, on Wednesday sent his "warm congratulations" to US President-elect Donald Trump.
"President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in-chief of the US military, and looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law," Duterte's Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said, GMA news agency said.
Duterte, who has expressed outrage almost daily with the Obama administration and threatened repeatedly to end one of Washington's most important Asian alliances, "hailed the success of US democratic system and the American way of life," the statement said.(IANS)

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