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Beginning of a new chapter in India-US ties: PM Modi

(From left) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on Monday. This was Trump’s first stop after landing in India.  (Photo: Reuters)Premium
(From left) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on Monday. This was Trump’s first stop after landing in India. (Photo: Reuters)

  • Emphasizing on shared values, PM Modi said unity and vibrancy in diversity form the basis for the strong ties
  • Donald Trump’s visit also comes amid intense trade talks between the two countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said US President Donald Trump’s maiden visit to India marks the start of a new chapter in India-US ties.

Modi, who welcomed the US President and first lady Melania Trump in a packed stadium of more than 100,000 people for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad, spoke about the efforts made by the Trump administration to bring the two countries closer.

“This visit by President Trump will start a new chapter in the relations between India and America, which will bring progress and prosperity to the people of the two countries. India-US relations are no longer just another partnership. It is a far greater and closer relationship," he said.

The two-day state visit comes ahead of President Trump’s re-election bid—the US votes in November—and just months after the prime minister’s “Howdy, Modi!" show in Texas last year. Trump’s visit also comes amid intense trade talks between the two countries.

Modi said he appreciated the fact that Trump and his family had flown down all the way to Ahmedabad to start their India journey. Trump’s visit was history being repeated, he said in reference to the Howdy, Modi! event.

The prime minister lauded India-US relations and said unity and vibrancy in diversity form the basis for the strong ties. He emphasized the similar ideas and values that the two countries share, the spirit of enterprise and innovation and shared opportunities, challenges, hopes and aspirations. Modi called the US the land of the free and said India considers the whole world to be one family. One country is proud of the Statue of Liberty and the other country is proud of the world’s tallest statue, Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity. “Not just in the Indo-Pacific region, India can play a strong role in peace, progress and security of the entire world. I believe President Trump’s visit in the beginning of this new decade is a huge opportunity for us," Modi said. He called the US a strategic partner for growth and said that the country is India’s largest trading partner. The largest number of war games that India does is with the US and the most exhaustive research and development partnership that India enjoys is with it, he said.

Amid loud cheers in the stadium, Modi said that India is not only making a world record in the number of satellites being sent from the country but also creating a world record of the fastest financial inclusion programme. The country is taking strides in setting up not just the world’s largest cricket stadium in Motera but also managing to run the biggest global health insurance scheme, Ayushmann Bharat, he said. The prime minister said the 1.3 billion Indians are creating a new India, with the US its strategic partner in this growth story in areas including IT, defence, health, and energy.

“In the new decade of this 21st century, the new India is also bringing many opportunities for resurgent America. There is a lot to gain in development aspects for both the countries. Expansion in manufacturing and infrastructure will bring new avenues for America. India’s digital economy will provide good space for US to invest in India," he said.

Modi said India and the US are natural partners that can work together toward digital cooperation, economic partnership and in maintaining peace and security by taking a strong stand against terrorism.

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