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US will deepen its strategic partnership with India: Trump

US President Donald Trump, in a prime-time televised address to the nation, laid out his South Asia policy saying a “critical part” of it was to further develop US’ strategic partnership with India.

He ruled out a hasty withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan and sought an enhanced role for India to bring peace in the war-torn country.

The US President Trump reached out to India seeking an enhanced role for New Delhi, especially in the economic field, to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

India, the world’s largest democracy, is a key security and economic partner of the United States, he said. “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan.

Trump slammed Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.

In an apparent warning to Pakistan Trump said Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists.

In his address Trump said after a “comprehensive review”, it has been decided that the American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss on her help in shaping President Donald Trump’s new South Asia strategy.

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