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Trump, India’s Modi Discuss Afghanistan, Rohingya Crisis In Phone Call

FILE: U.S. President Donald Trump (right) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
FILE: U.S. President Donald Trump (right) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The White House says U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussing several regional topics, including the war in Afghanistan and the plight of Muslim Rohingya refugees in Burma.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to Afghanistan's security, a White House statement said on February 8.

Washington recently announced it was cutting aid to Pakistan, India's neighbor and bitter regional rival, over allegations that Islamabad has provided a safe haven for insurgents operating in Afghanistan, a claim Pakistan denies.

At the same time, the U.S. administration has begun efforts to heighten military and economic relations with India, partially to balance China’s more-assertive foreign policy in Asia.

India has increased aid to Afghanistan in recent years and has vowed to provide Kabul with more arms.

Trump and Modi also addressed the situation of more than 680,000 Muslim Rohingya who have fled Buddhist-majority Burma to neighboring Bangladesh since last year.

The military forces of Burma have been accused of mistreating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya civilians and burning down villages after Rohingya militant attacks last summer.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, denies it has targeted civilians and said its actions are directed against Rohingya extremists.

Based on reporting by Reuters, The Hindu, and India Today