US-India ties have 'never been stronger': Trump

US President Donald Trump declared Monday that ties between Washington and New Delhi had "never been stronger" after holding his first talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As Modi hailed the US as his country's primary partner in its rapid social and economic transformation, Trump paid tribute to the Indian leader for overseeing growth rates which are faster than any other major economy in the world.

"The relationship between India and the United States has never been stronger, never been better," Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden as he stood alongside the Indian premier.

"I am thrilled to salute you, Prime Minister Modi, and the Indian people for all you are accomplishing together.

"Your accomplishments have been vast. India has the fastest-growing economy in the world. We hope we'll be catching you very soon in terms of percentage increase - I have to tell you, we're working on it!"

The two men, who both rose to power after portraying themselves as outsiders battling a complacent elite, appeared to make an immediate connection.

Modi gave Trump a bear hug during their joint appearance before then showering praise on the US leader.

"In our conversation today, President Trump and I have discussed all dimensions of US-India relations," he said at the end of a visit which has seen the announcement of several defense deals.

"We want to take our strategic partnership to new heights."

Modi said there was no reason for the US and India to be rivals, stressing that both he and Trump shared a joint desire to increase productivity, growth and job creation.

"We consider the United States as our primary partner in India's socio-economic transformation in all of our flagship programs and schemes," said Modi.

"I'm sure that convergence between my vision for a new India and President Trump's vision for 'Making America Great Again' will add a new dimension to our cooperation," added Modi in reference to Trump's signature campaign slogan.

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