Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted today that he was “extremely delighted” that US President Donald Trump will visit India on February 24 and 25.
“India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests. This visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship,” PM Modi tweeted.
“India and USA share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism. Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues. Robust friendship between our nations augurs well not only for our citizens but also for the entire world,” posted the Prime Minister.
PM Modi tweeted hours after President Trump told reporters in the US that he was looking forward to his first visit to India and indicated that the two countries may sign a trade deal.
The US President and First Lady Melania Trump will tour Delhi as well as Ahmedabad in PM Modi’s home state Gujarat, where they are to address an event at a giant stadium, on the lines of “Howdy, Modi” In Houston, Texas, last year.
“Just spoke with Prime Minister Modi,” Mr Trump told reporters at his Oval Office on Tuesday in response to a question on his India visit.
“He (Modi) is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India. So, we’ll be going at the end of the month.”
The US President said PM Modi had told him about a huge welcome in Ahmedabad.
“He (Modi) said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40 or 50,000 people… I’m not going to feel so good… There will be five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium (in Ahmedabad),” he joked.
“And you know (it) is the largest stadium in the world. He’s (Modi) building it now. It’s almost complete and it’s the largest in the world,” President Trump said.
The Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, being built at an estimated cost of $100 million, can seat 100,000 spectators.
The president, in response to questions, also indicated he is willing to sign a trade deal with India if it is the right one.
“They (Indians) want to do something and we’ll see… if we can make the right deal, (we) will do it,” said President Trump.
Over the last three years, President Trump and PM Modi have developed a personal friendship and last year, they met four times including at the Houston event for Indian Americans.
They have spoken on the phone twice this year, including last weekend.
This is Mr Trump’s first visit to India. His predecessor Barack Obama visited India twice, in 2010 and 2015.