26/06/2017 10:37 PM IST | Updated 26/06/2017 10:47 PM IST

US Secretary Of State, Defence Secretary Call On Modi Before His Meeting With Trump

'To prepare the ground.'

Stephen Lam / Reuters

WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today to prepare the ground for the visiting Indian leader's first meeting with President Donald Trump.

"Preparing the ground for the meeting between the leaders. Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State calls on PM," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted on the meeting.

Tillerson met Modi at the Hotel Willard Intercontinental, where the Indian prime minister is staying. Earlier, US Defence Secretary James Mattis had also called on Modi, his first official engagement of the day before the summit meeting with Trump at the White House.

Ahead of Modi's visit to Washington, Tillerson had said that the trip would strengthen the Indo-US relationship and help advance the common interest in fighting terrorism and promoting economic growth.

Tillerson had said this during a meeting here with visiting Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week.

"The Secretary noted the Prime Minister's visit will strengthen ties between the United States and India and advance our common interest in fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region," a State Department spokesperson had said.

The two agreed that the two countries have a deep and growing strategic partnership and hope to work more closely on regional and global issues, the official had said.

Ahead of his visit, Modi had said he looked forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views.

"My USA visit is aimed at deepening ties between our nations. Strong India-USA ties benefit our nations & the world," he had tweeted.

"I look forward to this opportunity to have an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating the robust and wide ranging partnership between India and the United States," the prime minister had said.

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