United States President Donald Trump thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his greetings on the 244th anniversary of American independence. “Thank you, my friend. America loves India,” tweeted Trump.
Modi had said: “I congratulate @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and the people of the USA on the 244th Independence Day of the USA. As the world’s largest democracies, we cherish freedom and human enterprise that this day celebrates.”
Thank you my friend. America loves India! https://t.co/mlvJ51l8XJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2020
Ties between the two countries remain cordial, but Modi’s greeting came soon after India voiced its concern following the suspension of new H-1B visas for foreign workers till the end of this year. The White House had said the ban was necessary to make jobs available for Americans during the coronavirus crisis. Trump’s move will disproportionately hurt Indian citizens, who have received as much as 70% of H-1B visas over the past five years, and both US and Indian tech companies that rely on them for smooth operations.
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had promised he would revoke the visa suspension if elected.
Modi and Trump’s tweets also come amid deteriorating Indo-China ties following violence on the India-China Line of Actual Control on June 15. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the incident. The US has also been open in its criticism of China in recent past, especially with regard to Beijing’s initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak.