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At ‘Namaste Trump’ event, US President announces $3 billion defence deal with India, calls PM Modi ‘tough negotiator’

Calling PM Modi a "tough negotiator", Trump also announced that both the countries are chalking out "the biggest ever trade deals" on his visit to India.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 24, 2020 8:30:27 pm
At 'Namaste Trump' event, US President announces  billion defence deal with India, calls PM Modi 'tough negotiator' US President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for a “Namaste Trump,” event in Ahmedabad (AP)

Massive bonhomie was at display at the ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad on Monday as both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump heaped praises on each other. Stating that India now holds a special place in the hearts of Americans, Trump said, “America loves India, America respects India and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people.” He also announced defence deals between the two countries worth 3 billion dollars.

Calling PM Modi a “tough negotiator”, Trump also announced that both the countries are chalking out “the biggest ever trade deals” on his visit to India.

Praising his “great friend” PM Narendra Modi, Trump said, “Modi, you are not just the pride of Gujarat but you are a living example that with hard work Indians can achieve anything they want. Everybody loves him… but I will tell you this… he is very tough.” In his address at the Motera stadium, Trump also made a mention of Modi’s early life as a “tea-seller.”

Follow LIVE updates on Donald Trump’s India Visit

Lauding India’s space mission Chandrayaan II, Trump said, “The US is looking forward to cooperating with you. US and India will be partners in our journey to the stars.”

Praising the diversity of India, Trump said, “India is the country that has always been admired and where millions of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians worship side by side. You have always stood strong as one great Indian nation.”

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad (AP)

Addressing a crowd of more than 1,00,000 people at the Motera cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad, the world’s biggest, the US President said, “Under PM Modi, villages in India have access to electricity. Over 300 million more have got internet connection. India will soon become the home to the world’s largest middle class. What is impressive is that India has achieved all this as a democracy and as a tolerant country. India’s achievement is unrivalled.”

Read | Donald Trump, Melania spin charkha at Sabarmati Ashram, pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

“Story of the Indian nation is a tale of extraordinary diversity, world’s largest democracy, strong and noble people,” he said, praising India for exhibiting “confidence in its own people, trust in its people.”

Trump also touched on India’s cultural diversity and riches as he highlighted the success of its blockbuster movies like DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) and Sholay, and its sporting icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. “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,” he added, thanking India for its hospitability.

US President Donald Trump thanked India for its hospitability. (AP)

Before Trump’s speech, addressing the Namaste Trump event, Modi said history is being scripted at the Motera Stadium. “Five months ago, I started my journey with Howdy Modi. And today, my great friend Trump has started his journey in India in Ahmedabad with ‘Namaste Trump’. After the long journey, Trumps made their way to the Sabarmati Ashram,” said Modi, while welcoming them to the “biggest democracy in the world.” He also made the crowd chant “long live India-US friendship”.

Crediting Donald Trump for strengthening India-US ties, Modi said, “India-US relations are no longer just another partnership. It is a far greater and closer relationship. One is ‘land of the free’,the other believes the world is one family. One feels proud of ‘Statue of Liberty’ the other feels proud of ‘Statue of Unity’. Trump thinks very big. The entire world has seen his efforts and his leadership.”

Read | Melania Trump keeps it elegant in a Herve Pierre jumpsuit as she arrives in India; see pics

Crowd waves at the motorcade of US President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad (AP)

This is Trump’s first visit to India. Following the event, the US President will leave for Agra. Thereafter, he will travel to Delhi where he is expected to wrap up issues related to trade and defence.

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