Trump takes a jibe at Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan

U.S. Special Forces soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan prepare to leave after an operation with Afghan National Army commandos in Kandahar province Afghanistan

But he could not hide his irritation while recalling that the Indian PM's "constant" harping on the library did not quite impress him.

Trump took the swipe at Modi at a White House news conference after his first cabinet meeting of the year where he urged India, Pakistan, Russia and others in the regionto do more following his decision to halve the United States troops presence in Afghanistan. "You know, a lot of these places you're reading about now are no longer part of Russian Federation, because of Afghanistan". "And we are supposed to say, "oh, thank you for the library".

"Trump mocked India, a key U.S. non-NATO partner that's done major development work in Afghanistan, for building a library there", Michael Kugelman, South Asia senior associate at the Washington-based Wilson Center think-tank, said on Twitter.

Speaking to the press at a cabinet meeting in White House, Trump got off on his familiar talking points and called on Democrats to cut a deal for a border wall. India is also the largest donor in the region with development assistance exceeding $3 billion, they said.

Projects have included the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and scholarships to India for 1,000 Afghan students each year.

In addition, Modi had also promised to promote programmes "empowering Afghan youth with modern education and professional skills", said AFP.

Meanwhile, the partial United States government shut, which began on December 21, continues.

The Congress too condemned Trump for his remarks against Modi.

Not many know many people that he ended annual aid of $1.3 billion to Pakistan, Trump claimed. "It just was not a credible presentation", Reuters quoted Senator Dick Durbin as saying. I think it was water, we were just paying to Pakistan.

It now looks like the partial shutdown will continue over this weekend. But India's response indicates an anxiety over shifting USA policy on Afghanistan.

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"The reason Russian Federation was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russian Federation. The problem is it was a tough fight".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) meeting the President of United States of America Donald Trump in Manila, Philippines.

Moreover, he mentioned that countries like Russia, India, Pakistan should take the responsibilities of protecting and developing Afghanistan.

Trump seemed to misstate the former Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan by saying: "Russia used to be the Soviet Union". It pointed out the "critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives" and reminded Trump that "India does not send its armed forces overseas except under the specific mandate of United Nations peacekeeping operations".

Trump went on to state that the Soviet Union was "right to invade Afghanistan" in 1979 "because terrorists were going to Russian Federation", adding that the 10-year mission bankrupted the Soviets. Last month, Trump had written to PM Imran Khan seeking Pakistan's support to advance the Afghan peace process.

"If we can go to Pakistan and put a free trade agreement on the table to get the Pakistanis to push the Taliban to the peace table, and you can end the Afghan war", he added.

India's comments were attributed to official sources and widely circulated to domestic media. "They were right to be there", the president added.

Mr. Trump's comment that the Afghanistan invasion bankrupted Russian Federation is also false.

The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a communist government that gained power via a coup in the previous year.

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