Modi trump ASEAN

President Donald Trump (right) shook hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila on Nov. 13. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

MANILA — President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have pledged that the U.S. and India should have the world's greatest militaries as they discussed bilateral strategic partnership and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The two leaders met Nov. 13 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines. They discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and India and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the White House said in a statement.

"They pledged to enhance their cooperation as major defense partners, resolving that two of the world’s great democracies should also have the world's greatest militaries," read the White House statement.

Trump expressed appreciation that Indian purchases of oil from the U.S. have surpassed 10 million barrels in recent months, and expressed confidence that stronger energy cooperation will be a geopolitical and economic game changer for both countries.

The first consignment of American crude oil reached India in October and Indian petroleum companies plan to purchase crude oil worth $2 billion from the U.S. in the next one year.

Modi said that he looked forward to hosting the U.S. delegation at the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which will showcase innovation and collaboration between the two countries.

India and the U.S. will co-host the entrepreneurship summit. The American delegation will be led by Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is also his senior advisor.

The talks between Trump and Modi came after officials of India, the U.S., Japan and Australia held their first meeting to give shape to the much talked about quadrilateral alliance to keep the Indo-Pacific region "free and open.”

Giving details of the Nov. 13 deliberations, Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar in Manila said Modi and Trump undertook "a broad review of the strategic landscape in Asia." He did not elaborate further.

Asked whether the formation of the India-Australia-U.S.- Japan quadrilateral was discussed, Jaishankar had said there was a passing mention of it, adding that the meeting of the officials of the four countries was “part of diplomacy.”

"It was a very expansive discussion," Jaishankar said, adding that Trump also shared his "impression" of his ongoing Asia trip which took him to Japan and China.

The White House released a video of the Modi-Trump meeting. Watch it here:

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