Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the ties between the US and India are not government to government but are people-centric and “people to people”. In a joint press statement with US President Donald Trump, who will leave India tonight after a two-day visit, PM Modi said, Yesterday, President Trump received a historical welcome in Motera that will be remembered forever.” President Trump said he is “optimistic of a trade deal” with India. Earlier today, President Trump received a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning before talks with PM Modi over defence and trade deals on a packed day in Delhi, where he arrived last night after visiting Ahmedabad and Agra. He is also expected to address the media at 5 pm .
Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
- “PM Modi and I agree and are working together for a free and balanced Indo-Pacific region and a comprehensive trade deal. We also discussed defence in detail and have agreed on a comprehensive defence deal. The deal would include procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters by India. Another contract to acquire six AH-64E Apache helicopters…” President Trump said.
- “The last two days, especially yesterday at the stadium, it was a great honour for me. People were there maybe more for you (PM Narendra Modi) than for me… Every time I mentioned you, they cheered more. People love you here,” President Trump said. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will wind up their 36-hour visit with a presidential banquet and fly back to the US tonight.
- President Trump and Melania Trump were received at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in a ceremonial welcome. From there they went to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat, where the US President laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence.
- President Trump will later hold restricted and then delegation-level bilateral talks with PM Modi at the Hyderabad House in the heart of Delhi. The US and India will sign agreements and then both leaders will make a joint statement.
- Deals worth $3 billion for the supply of choppers for the Indian Army and Navy have been signed. President Trump had teased the deals while addressing the “Namaste, Trump” event at a cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday.
- “I am pleased to announce that tomorrow our representatives will sign deals to sell over $3 billion, in the absolute finest state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” the US President had said. The two sides also signed agreements on homeland security and healthcare.
- First Lady Melania Trump visited a Delhi government school to watch a “Happiness Class” that includes meditation, street plays, basic obedience aimed at reducing anxiety and stress levels among children.
- In the evening, after his press conference, the US President will drive to Rashtrapati Bhavan again for the state banquet, where lamb biryani, Raan Aalishaan, Dal Raisina, Salmon fish tikka and Lemon Coriander Soup are on the menu.
- On Monday, President Trump addressed the packed Motera cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad shortly after arriving in India. He lavished praise on PM Modi, calling him a “great friend”.
- President Trump, his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner also visited Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram where the First couple tried their hand at the charkha or spinning wheel. Later, the Trumps visited Agra and spend nearly an hour at the spectacular Taj Mahal.