US President Donald Trump has arrived in India on a two-day visit. The Air Force One carrying the President and his delegation, including wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner and several senior members of the US cabinet landed at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport.
“Your visit is definitely going to further strengthen the friendship between our nations,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted ahead of Trump’s arrival.
Trump was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders will now head to Sabarmati Ashram, located on the banks of the Sabarmati river and the place and where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1917 and 1930. The delegation will then go to Motera stadium for the “Namaste Trump” event, on the lines of the grand welcome accorded to PM Modi in the US with the “Howdy Modi” event.
As his motorcade makes its way along a 22-km route, it will pass 28 stages featuring artistes from as many states and exhibits depicting different aspects of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and struggle for the country’s independence.
The arrangements along the route are being billed as the “India Road Show”, with officials saying this exhibition of the country’s diverse culture and heritage for Trump has few parallels in India or elsewhere. Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the route as Trump’s motorcade takes about 30 minutes to make its way to the stadium.
After addressing the rally along with Modi, Trump and his delegation will fly to Agra so that he and First Lady Melania Trump can spend some time at the Taj Mahal before sunset. The US delegation will then fly to Delhi, where Trump and Modi will hold wide-ranging talks on Tuesday.
Trump’s two-day visit is expected to scale up bilateral ties between the two countries, though a big announcement of a trade deal is not expected.
During the talks, Modi and Trump are expected to focus on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including trade and investment, defence and security, counter-terrorism, energy security, religious freedom, proposed peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the situation in the Indo-Pacific, according to officials.
Before leaving the White House, Trump told reporters on Sunday that he felt the two-day trip was not long enough, although it will be very exciting.
“I’m going to be there one night. That’s not too much. But it’s going to be very exciting,” he said.
“I look forward to being with the people of India. We’re going to have many millions and millions of people,” Trump added.
With the campaign for the November presidential election in full swing, the US President has a tight schedule.
A day after his return, Trump is to attend a campaign rally in South Carolina on Thursday before the state’s primary election on Saturday.
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