Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Trump, Modi Discuss Trade, Afghanistan: White House

Trump, Modi Discuss Trade, Afghanistan: White House

Trump and Modi agreed to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership in 2019.
WASHINGTON - The US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed reducing the US trade deficit with India and increasing their cooperation in Afghanistan in a telephone call on Monday, the White House said.
“The leaders agreed to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership in 2019 and exchanged perspectives on how to reduce the US trade deficit with India, expand security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, and increase cooperation in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The United States has slapped tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from India, part of Trump’s drive to reduce the US trade deficit and boost American manufacturing jobs.
This comes while, there are reports that Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 US troops there, a US official told media last month.
Last week, amid reports on a possible withdrawal of American troops, Trump at a cabinet meeting insisted on regional countries' role in Afghanistan and said that India, Russia and Pakistan should be fighting in Afghanistan, not the United States.
“So you take a look at other countries—Pakistan is there. They should be fighting. But Russia should be fighting. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight,” Trump said.
Trump seemed to misstate the former Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan that "Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan," Trump said. "The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there."
Trump brought up India's aid during a rambling press appearance at a cabinet meeting as he defended his push for the United States to invest less overseas.
While stating that he got along with PM Modi, the US President said PM Modi was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan."
"You know what that is? That's like five hours of what we spend," he said.
"And we're supposed to say, 'Oh, thank you for the library.' I don't know who's using it in Afghanistan," Trump said.
It was unclear to which project Trump was referring, but India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban regime after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Projects have included the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and scholarships to India for 1,000 Afghan students each year. (Tolo news)