New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Monday arrived for his first state visit to India. Accompanied by First Lady Melania, President Trump landed at Ahmedabad Airport at 11:40 AM and was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who greeted him with a hug. Also Read - US President Donald Trump Praises Bollywood, Refers to DDLJ During Speech at Motera Stadium
The three first headed to Sabarmati Ashram and finally proceeded to the Motera Stadium, the world’s largest cricket stadium, for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event. After a brief introductory speech by PM Modi, President Trump addressed the huge gathering. Here are the highlights of his speech: Also Read - Trump Makes No Mention Of Mahatma Gandhi In His Note at Sabarmati Ashram, Netizens Recall Obama's Visit
He began by greeting the audience with a ‘Namaste’ and remarked that ‘America loves India, America respects India and America will always be loyal to India.’ Also Read - 'Great Friend Modi...’, Here's What President Trump Wrote in Sabarmati Ashram's Visitor Book
President Trump called PM Modi a ‘special friend’ and recalled the latter’s journey from being a ‘chai wala‘ (tea-seller) to becoming the Prime Minister of India. He also called the PM a ‘remarkable’ and ‘great man.’
The US President praised India for its ‘remarkable’ rise in the last seven decades. “The pace at which India has grown in the last two decades is phenomenal. India is an inspiration for the people of the rest of the world,” he added.
He also recalled last year’s general elections, remarking that over 600 million people went to polls last year in what was the largest democratic exercise in the whole world.
President Trump recalled the ‘Howdy Modi’ event held last September in Houston and said that today India was welcoming him in the largest cricket stadium in the world. His mention of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and current captain Virat Kohli drew a huge cheer from the crowd.
Trump also made a mention of Swami Vivekanda as well as that of Bollywood, praising it for producing iconic films like Shah Rukh Khan-starrer DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) as well as ‘Sholay.’
Praising India for its ‘diversity,’ he further said, “India has always been admired as a place where millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jains, Christians and Jews worship side-by-side in harmony.
“Our two countries are committed to working together to stop terrorists and fight their ideology. Hence, since taking office my administration has been working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on terror organisations and militants that operate on the Pakistani border,” he said on cross-border terrorism.
However, he also went on to describe the US’ relationship with Pakistan as a ‘very good one.’ “Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability & the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” he said.
On the trade deal, which will not take place on this visit, he called Prime Minister Modi a ‘tough negotiator.’