Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he was “extremely delighted” that United States President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would visit India later this month. This came after the president said he was looking forward to the visit. The Trumps will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad on February 24 and February 25.
“India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests,” Modi tweeted. “This visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship. India and USA share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism. Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues. Robust friendship between our nations augurs well not only for our citizens but also for the entire world.”
On Tuesday, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump had said: “He is a friend of mine. He’s a great gentleman.” Trump said he spoke to the prime minister over the weekend, when Modi told him that millions of people would welcome him at the airport in Ahmedabad on February 24.
Trump joked that he may not feel so good amid such a huge number of people. “When we have 50,000 people, I’m not going to feel so good,” he said. “We’ll have five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium. And you know it is the largest stadium in the world. [They are] building it now. It’s almost complete and it’s the largest in the world.”
The US president was referring to the new Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium, where he will attend a “Kem chho Trump”, or Howdy! Trump, event. About 1.25 lakh people are expected to attend the event at the, according to The Hindu.
India-US trade deal
When asked about a potential trade deal with India, Trump said: “They [Indians] want to do something and we’ll see...if we can make the right deal, we will do it”. Both countries are negotiating a trade agreement ahead of the trip, after earlier imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s imports.
Multiple rounds of talks have taken place between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the past few weeks, reported PTI.
“The trip will further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership and highlight the strong and enduring bonds between the American and Indian people,” the White House had said in a tweet while announcing the visit. Hours before the announcement, the United States said that it had approved the possible sale of an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System to India at an estimated cost of $1.87 billion (approximately Rs 1,300 crore).