New Delhi: Preparations are underway for the United States President Donald Trump’s first visit to the country, and the ‘Namaste Trump’ event is expected to be on same lines as the grand ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Texas last year, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Thursday. Also Read - ‘Prepare List of 10 Major Decisions, 10 Priority Areas of Focus Once Lockdown Ends,’ PM Modi to Ministers
Security measures have been amped up in Ahmedabad where President Trump will land on February 24 noon. A large group of people are expected to line up along the route from the airport to Motera Stadium that has been decorated for Trump event, the MEA noted. Also Read - Kamal Haasan Pens Open Letter Criticising PM Modi's Lockdown Decision, Says 'Time Proved You Too Were Wrong Sir'
“It will be an intense 36-hour-long visit,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said earlier this afternoon. “US President Trump will land in Ahmedabad around noon, from there he will go to Motera Stadium to address the ‘Namaste Trump’ event. The route from the airport to the stadium, we expect a large no. of people will line-up,” he stated. Also Read - Crackers Are Passe, This BJP Leader Fired Shots in Air to Fulfil PM Modi's '9 Baje 9 Minute' Request, Booked
The MEA spokesperson highlighted that this will be Trump’s first visit to India and 5th meeting with PM Modi in 8 months. There are three legs to the US President’s visit- Ahmedabad-Agra- Delhi, he said.
During his visit, the MEA elaborated, Trump along with PM Modi will pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi. It will be followed by delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at Hyderabad House.
“There is strong cooperation between India and the US on counter-terrorism. We hope this cooperation will strengthen. There will be talks on regional issues,” the MEA stated.
Reports stated that Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal will engage in discussions with his US counterpart and will have a Free Trade Agreement, which is yet to be signed.
Clarifying this, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We do hope to reach an understanding. We would not like to rush into a deal as issues involved are complicated. We don’t want to create an artificial deadline. For us the interests of people are paramount.”
Notably, Trump, who will be accompanied with First Lady Melania Trump and a team of diplomats, is expected to engage in an array of trade discussions in areas of defence, counter-terrorism, people to people contact, energy and regional issues during his two-day tour.
A government source had revealed that the two nations may also seal a deal in the defence sector, some of which will fructify soon, as a major part of the focus during President Trump’s visit will be on the Indo-Pacific region.