United with India in fight against Islamist terror: US President Donald Trump

Last Updated 25 February 2020, 02:11 IST

US President Donald Trump on Monday said that India and America are united in their “iron-clad resolve” to defend citizens from the threat of radical Islamist terrorism, as the imposing, newly renovated Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad provided the perfect stage for Trump to sing praises of Indian culture, diversity and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

President Trump also said that he is looking forward “to providing India with some of the most-feared military equipment on the planet” and striking some of the “biggest ever made trade deals”.

Trump and wife Melania arrived at the stage around 1 pm after a brief stopover at the Sabarmati Ashram, where the US President tried his hand at the ‘charkha’.

“Both of our countries have been hurt by the pain and turmoil of terrorism,” said the US president addressing an over one lakh-strong crowd on his maiden visit to the country.

“Every nation has the right to secure and controlled borders. The United States and India are committed to working together to stop terrorists, and to fight their ideology,” said Trump who also announced a $3-billion defence deal to sell “absolute finest, state-of-the-art helicopters” to Indian armed forces.

Defence deals

“I believe the United States should be India’s premier defence partner, and that’s the way it’s working out.

“Together, we will defend our sovereignty, security and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region for our children and many, many generations to come.”

The American president said he looked forward “to providing India with some of the best, and most-feared, military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made... aeroplanes, rockets, ships, missiles... we make the best and we are dealing now with India.”

Trump also heaped praise on Modi. Referring to Modi’s “tea-seller” background, the US President described Modi as a “tough negotiator” and a “hard worker”.

Trump’s over 25-minute speech was peppered with praises for India’s unity, diversity and to the “genius” of the Hindi film industry (he recalled “classics” Sholay and Dilwale Dulhania Le

“India is a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, rule of law, and the dignity of every human being. Your nation has always been admired around the earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Jains, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews worship side by side in harmony,” he said.

“You speak more than 100 languages, have more than two dozen states, but you have always stood as a strong nation. Your unity is an inspiration to the world and in America, we have come to know of the splendour of Indian culture personally through over four million Indian-Americans living in the United States as our wonderful friends, neighbours and colleagues.”

About economic ties, Trump said, “We will be making very, very major — among the biggest ever made — trade deals. We are in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment between the United States and India.”

CM to attend banquet hosted for US prez

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will attend the banquet hosted for US President Donald Trump here on Tuesday, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

Yediyurappa will arrive in the national capital at 2 pm and will attend the banquet.

Trump will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where a banquet will be hosted in his honour.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will also attend the banquet as the Rashtrapathi Bhavan had extended the invitation to him also.

(Published 25 February 2020, 02:11 IST)

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