US President Donald Trump leaves for maiden visit to India

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Washington: US President Donald Trump Sunday left for his maiden visit to India for talks with the top Indian leadership during which the two countries are expected to significantly ramp up bilateral relations, especially in the defence and strategic ties.

Trump, who is accompanied by First Lady Melania, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and the top brass of his administration, just before his departure said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his “friend” and he is looking forward to visit India.

Trump said he had committed to visit India long time back and he is looking forward to be with the people of India.

“I look forward to being with the people of India. We are going to have many millions and millions of people. It’s a long trip. I get along very well with Prime Minister Modi. He is a friend of mine,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

“I had committed to this trip long time ago. I look forward to it. I hear it’s going to be a big event..the biggest event they ever had in India. That’s what the Prime Minister told me. Its’ the biggest event they ever had. It’s going to be very exciting. I am going to be there for one night,” said the US President in response to a question.

The US President will have a brief re-fuel stopover in Germany. The maiden visit to India is expected to significantly ramp up bilateral defence and strategic ties but unlikely to produce tangible outcome in resolving thorny issues like trade tariffs.

The nearly 36-hour-long visit by Trump is also set to send across a clear message of growing congruence of interests on major geopolitical developments in the region and beyond, particularly when China has been expanding its military might and economic clout.

PTI

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