Donald Trump on Monday said that the United States will sign a $3-billion defence deal with India. Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, is on his first visit to India.
Speaking at the “Namaste Trump” event at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said he was looking forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. “We make the greatest weapons ever made,” he said. “We make the best and we are dealing now with India.”
Announcing the defence deal between the two countries Trump said, “I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow [Tuesday] our representatives will sign deals to sell over US$ 3 billion, in the absolute finest state of the art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces.”
Trump called Modi a “tough negotiator”, and announced that both the countries are chalking out “the biggest ever trade deals” during his two-day visit.
Ahead of his first visit to India, Trump had suggested that the United States “may make a tremendous deal” with India, but also indicated that the talks on this might slow down if he did not get a good deal. Earlier, the president said they were “not treated very well” by India and that he was saving the trade deal for later on.
Both India and the US have repeatedly resolved to strengthen trade ties but attempts at working out an agreement failed even during Modi’s visit to Houston in September.
Addressing an upbeat crowd of millions at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad, Trump said India gives hope to all of humanity. “ India’s rise as a prosperous and independent nation is an example to every nation over the world,” he added.
Trump showered praises on Modi and called the prime minister a “moving story of an incredible rise”. “PM Modi you are not just the pride of Gujarat, you are living proof that with hard work and devotion, Indians can accomplish anything at all, anything they want,” Trump said. “Modi started out as “tea wallah”, he worked as a tea seller. Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough.”
Trump said America would “always be a faithful and loyal friend to the Indian people” as he thanked Modi for a rousing welcome in Gujarat, which included a 22-km roadshow. “Five months ago, the United States welcomed your great Prime Minister at a giant football stadium in Texas and today, India welcomes us at the world’s largest cricket stadium right here in Ahmedabad,” Trump said.
Trump praised India for exhibiting “confidence in its own people, trust in its people.” He added: “Story of the Indian nation is a tale of extraordinary diversity, world’s largest democracy, strong and noble people.”
After the event at Motera stadium, Trump is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra and then travel to Delhi, where he is expected to discuss matters related to trade and defence. Trump will leave on Tuesday.