US President Donald Trump while asserting that his country “loves” and was “loyal” to India, said on being received in Ahmedabad with pomp and show that India and the US were committed to defending their people from radical Islamic terrorism. The US president resolved to significantly expand defence ties with India. He said the American side was working on a “fantastic” trade deal.
Addressing a massive crowd at the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at the Motera stadium, the US president, flanked by his wife Melania and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sang paeans to India’s great tradition of embracing individual freedom, rule of law, the dignity of every human being. He said this was a nation where people worshipped side-by-side in harmony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier received the US president on the arrival of the latter.
US loyal friend of India: Trump
Trump said the US would remain a “loyal” friend of India. He called the prime minister an “exceptional leader” who worked day and night for the country. “India and the US are committed to fighting terrorists and their ideology. That is why my government is working with Pakistan to crack down on terror groups,” Trump said.
In the presence of his family — daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner — and top officials of his administration, the US president said, “The US will always be a faithful and loyal friend of India. Thank you for the spectacular welcome.”
“India and the US have natural and enduring friendship,” Trump said to a packed Motera stadium. “We are quickly revitalising our alliances all around the world,” the president said.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Trump to the “world’s largest democracy”. He said a “new history” was being created as he appreciated Trump’s leadership in containing terrorism.
Deals will be signed during this tour of US president
Allaying apprehensions caused by his statement earlier that this visit was not for deals, Trump announced that the US and India would enter defence deals worth $3 billion on 25 February. “The United States will become India’s premier defence partner,” the president asserted.
President Trump said both the US and India were working on a “fantastic trade” deal. He observed that Prime Minister Modi was a “tough negotiator”. The US president eulogised Modi, saying the prime minister was a “living proof” of what an Indian could achieve with hard work. Trump referred to Modi’s humble background as a tea-seller, who had a repeat landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Trump said the US, as the world’s largest economy, looked at India as a hope for all humanity as it became an economic giant. “There is a difference between a nation that rises by coercion and one that rises by setting its people free — that is India. India and the US have natural and enduring friendship,” he said.
The US president highlighted the constantly improving US economy under his presidency. He added that India would soon be home to the largest middle class, eliminating poverty in the next 10 years.
The US president interspersed his speech with lighter things in life when he mentioned DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) and Sholay, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, as exemplifications of India’s cultural diversity and riches.
Prime Minister Modi said ties between India and the US were no longer just another partnership but they have attained much greater heights. “The visit of President Trump with his family to India shows strong ties between India and the US,” said Modi.
Trump, along with his family, left for Agra after the Ahmedabad event.