New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Sunday addressed the 50,000-strong Indian-American diaspora at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Taking to stage after a short introductory speech by PM Modi who welcomed Trump, the President began by saying that he was thrilled to be here with his most loyal and great friend, Prime Minister Modi.

Wishing Modi, who turned 69 on September 17, a very happy belated birthday, Trump congratulated 600 billion Indians who voted overwhelmingly for the PM and his party. On floods which recently hit Texas, he said that his administration was with the people of the state.

Trump further said, “I have come to express my gratitude to 4 million Indian-Americans. You are doing so much to strengthen the two countries’ ties.” He further said, “I promised that if I’m elected, India will have a true friend in the White House and that’s exactly how it is. This is why the India-US relationship is stronger than ever before.”

Praising both countries, who, he said, were governed by law and strengthened by their love for poverty, Trump further highlighted that Constitutions of both countries begin with three beautiful words, ‘We the people.’ Complementing PM Modi, he said, “The world is witnessing a strong, sovereign, thriving Republic of India under him. India has lifted 30 crore people out of poverty, it’s incredible.”

He continued, “PM Modi, I look forward to working with you to make our nations prosperous than before. India has never invested in the US like it is doing today and we are doing the same thing there.”

Trump, who is seeking re-election next year, also announced that next week, in Mumbai, people will witness the first-ever National Basketball Association (NBA) game on Indian soil. He also joked that he might come to India to watch the game.

He also announced that in November, the two countries will hold the first-ever ‘Tiger Triumph’ military exercise involving all the three branches of their respective armed forces. Thanking Mexican President, he said that his administration is to stop illegal immigration from the southern border.

He finished his speech thanking everyone, especially his ‘great friend’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.