#DonaldTrump; #India; #NamasteTrump; NarendraModi; #Ahmedabad
New Delhi (India), Feb 24 (Canadian-Media): The US President Donald Trump arrived on Monday in Ahmedabad with his wife Melania and a ministerial delegation including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner who are senior advisors to Trump, media reports said.
A “Namaste Trump” event was organized by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at at Sardar Patel Stadium, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Ahmedabad, India to welcome Trump and his delegation to the country on Monday.
A 110,000-seat stadium was filled by Indians to greet Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the beginning of their two-day visit similar to the “Howdy Modi” event that Trump had held in September for Modi’s visit to Houston.
Namaste Trump event. Image credit: Twitter handle
Also present at the stadium were Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Governor Acharya Devvrat and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly
Both the leaders stepped on stage amidst cheers from a crowd, exchanged hugs and stood side-by-side as the U.S. and Indian national anthems played.
In his own speech, Modi praised Trump, repeatedly calling him a friend. “President Trump thinks big,” he said.
Both the leaders spoke at an event in Ahmedabad, a city about 580 miles from New Delhi as part of a two-day spectacle that Modi had promised to deliver for Trump.
Addressing the occasion, Trump's speech began with a ‘namaste’ and he referred to Modi as his “true friend” saying “America loves India, America respects India.”
Indian culture was praised by Trump at Monday’s event, referencing famous Bollywood films.
Trump praised Modi’s party's controversial immigration controls while the country was encouraged to maintain religious and ethnic diversity.
“Your nation has always been admired around the Earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Jains worship side by side in harmony.” said Trump.
An announcement was made by Trump on Monday that the United States will sell $3 billion worth of military helicopters and other equipment to India, as a sign of the deepening ties between the two countries.
“I believe the United States should be India's premier defense partner, and that's the way it's working out,” Trump said.
Trump and Modi are expected to discuss on Tuesday a trade deal, and concerns about security and terrorism.
Trump’s remarks on the importance of unity among Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Jews and his expression of support for Pakistan while on Indian soil, was not received well by Modi given longtime tensions between the two countries, particularly over control of Kashmir.
According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, Trump’s approval rating in India is 56 percent.
Pew Research Centre is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonadvocacy fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research by generating a foundation of facts that enrich the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.
Although a trade agreement between the U.S. and India could not be reached in advance of Trump’s visit, Trump said he’s “optimistic that working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal.”