Ahmedabad (Gujarat): U.S. president Donald Trump landed straight into the arms of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the Ahmedabad airport to begin his state visit to India today.
Even before that, from on board Air Force One, he shot off a charm tweet in Hindi.
हम भारत आने के लिए तत्पर हैं । हम रास्ते में हैँ, कुछ ही घंटों में हम सबसे मिलेंगे!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
In English it means "We are eager to visit India. We are on our way and would be soon meeting all”.
And prime minister Narendra Modi replied with a tweet of his own.
That mutual warmth set the tone for the first state visit by Trump to India.
Trump is accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and several of his top officials.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani was also present at the airport along with other officials to welcome the visiting dignitaries. As he walked the red carpet the US President was accorded a a tri-service guard of honour.
The legendary Air Force One, emblazoned with the words “United States of America,” the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, landed at the Ahmedabad airport shortly before 12 noon.
Trump is slated to take part in a road-show, besides addressing the ‘Namaste Trump’ event along with Modi in the Motera Stadium, the world’s largest cricket ground with a seating capacity of 1.10 lakh people.
Grand preparations have been made for the high-profile visit with thousands of people--well short of the 10 million Trump claimed Modi promised--expected to line the streets of Ahmedabad to greet the two leaders during their roadshow.
Just before his departure, Trump said he had committed to visiting India long time back and he is looking forward to be with the people of India.
Trump's maiden visit to India is expected to significantly ramp up defence and strategic ties but there is doubt whether there will be a trade deal.
One point of curiosity is whether 10 million people lined up to see the President on the streets of Ahmedabad, a number supplied to Trump by Modi, apparently.
From Ahmedabad, the US president will travel to Agra to have a glimpse of the iconic Taj Mahal. The Trump family will spend about an hour at the Taj Mahal before sunset. Then they will leave for Delhi for the main leg of the visit.
On the morning of February 25, Trump and the First Lady would be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan....