WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed reducing the Washington’s trade deficit with India and increasing their cooperation in Afghanistan in a telephone call on Monday, the White House said.
The White House statements said: “The leaders decided to reinforce the US-India strategic partnership in 2019… and increase cooperation in Afghanistan.”
Trump had earlier said that India is not doing enough in Afghanistan, claiming that Narendra Modi was ‘boosting’ the construction of library in the country, which may not be in any considerable use.
President Trump is also planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan, a US official said last month.
With a reduced military presence in Afghanistan, the Washington would almost certainly have to curtail its missions, which include training and advising Afghan National Security forces (ANSF) and waging an air campaign against the Taliban and other insurgent groups.