As questions were being raised regarding trade tensions between India and the United States, Donald Trump on Monday asserted that the countries will soon mark a "fantastic" trade deal in a bid to boost economies. Calling Modi a "tough" negotiator, the US president said that relations with India hold a special place for his country.
"Prime Minister Modi and I will be making some very big trade deal to boost our countries economy. I am sure that we can reach a good trade. But Modi is a tough negotiator. A booming America is great for India and the world. Modi has made some significant reforms in India. The world wants to see more reforms."
Addressing the 'Namaste Trump' event at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, Trump also announced that the US will seal defence deals worth $3 billion on Tuesday. Both the leaders will be holding delegation-level official talks on Tuesday in New Delhi.
"I have come to India to expand our relations. Modi and I will continue our dialogue to deepen the relation between our countries. Our relations took a new turn when the Indian and US military has a joint exercise – Tiger Triumph. We make the best military hardware and we now deal with India. Tomorrow we will sign a $3-billion defence deal. We want India to become our premier defence partner," he added.
Trump said that relations with India hold a special place for his country, saying that America "loves" and is "loyal" to India.
Touching on the issue of terrorism in Pakistan, the US president said his administration is working with Islamabad to crack down on terrorist organisations in the Islamic country.
"My administration is working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crackdown on terror organizations and the militants that operate on the Pakistani border," said Trump.
"Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one, thanks to these efforts that we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan," he added.
US President Donald Trump: Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan & we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability & the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia. https://t.co/ToVlATFyzl
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2020
Trump also heaped praise on Modi as he described him as an "exceptional leader" who works day and night for India.
Hailing Modi as a "living proof" of what an Indian can achieve with hard work, Trump referred to his humble background as a tea-seller, who saw a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
As the world's largest economy, India gives hope to all humanity and has become an economic giant, Trump said.
"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.
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 sports icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.
He highlighted the boom in the US economy under his presidency and added that India will soon be home to the biggest middle class as it will eliminate extreme poverty in in next 10 years.
The US president arrived in Ahmedabad at noon with his wife Melania and a ministerial delegation that also included his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner who serve as senior advisors to Trump.
Prior to this, Trump and Melania also paid a short visit to Sabarmati Ashram and spun a charkha, which is closely associated with India's freedom struggle and Mahatma Gandhi.
Next on the itinerary, the US president will catch a glimpse of Agra's Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, before sunset with his family
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2020 15:49:17 IST