New Delhi: Both India and the United States formally announced on Tuesday that the US President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, would make a two-day visit later this month to India on February 24 and 25.
Both countries said in separate statements that the visit would strengthen the Indo-US strategic partnership. Speculation is rife that a trade deal may also be inked during the visit, something that will be music to the US President’s ears as he heads into a re-election campaign.
In a statement, the MEA said, “At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, His Excellency Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, will pay a state visit to India on February 24-25, 2020. This will be the President’s first visit to India. During the visit, President Trump and the First Lady will attend official engagements in New Delhi and Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and interact with a wide cross-section of Indian society.”
The MEA added, “The global strategic partnership between India and the U.S. is based on trust, shared values, mutual respect and understanding, and marked by warmth and friendship between the peoples of the two countries. The relationship has further evolved under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Trump, with significant progress in all areas including trade, defence, counter-terrorism, energy, coordination on regional and global issues as well as people-to-people ties. The visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to review progress in bilateral ties and further strengthen our strategic partnership.”
The statement from the White House said, “The President and The First Lady will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad, which is in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat and played such an important role in Mahatma Gandhi’s life and leadership of the Indian independence movement.”
During a phone call over the weekend, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi agreed that the trip will further strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership and highlight the strong and enduring bonds between the American and Indian people.