Donald Trump announces first visit to India
11 February 2020, 10:15
The White House announced on Monday that US President Donald Trump will visit India from February 24 to 25 to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will make the trip to “strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership,” according to a White House statement.
In what will be his first visit to India since he took office, Trump will make stops in the capital New Delhi and the western state of Gujarat. Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was also the home of the civil rights leader, Mahatma Gandhi.
The White House said that Trump and Modi talked on the telephone over the weekend. The two leaders have maintained a close relationship, with Modi visiting the US in September and hosting Trump at a rally in Houston, Texas called “Howdy Modi!”
During the first White House meeting in June 2017, Modi hugged Trump several times following a joint news conference in the Rose Garden.
A mostly friendly relationship
The two countries have faced recent economic tensions, including India’s imposition of retaliatory trade tariffs against the US after Washington removed it from a program that allowed duty-free entry of up to $5.6 billion (€5.1 billion) of annual exports to the US.
However, the US sees India as a strategic ally, particularly in regard to countering China’s influence within Asia, and has heavily invested in the world’s largest democracy both militarily and economically.
Earlier this week, India’s new US envoy, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, touted cooperation between the two countries and announced that the US is India’s preferred trade partner in its journey to become a $5 trillion (€4.6 trillion) economy by 2024.
“The relations between our governments has found a new momentum, getting its energy from the warm friendship between our leaders,” he said.