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‘Will be a memorable welcome’: PM Modi tweets a promise to Trump on his India visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India will give a memorable welcome to US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump when they visit India on February 24.

“Extremely delighted that @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS will visit India on 24th and 25th February. 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,” Modi said on Twitter. 

“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,” he said in the second tweet.

The visit is expected to strengthen the strategic partnership. Trump, apart from Delhi, is scheduled to travel to Ahmedabad where India has hosted a public reception on the lines of “Howdy Modi!” show in Houston.

“I look forward to going to India,” Trump had said as the White House announced the schedule for his India visit. “He (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is a friend of mine. He’s a great gentleman,” the US President further said in response to a question.

Talking about the agenda, Trump said that a trade agreement with India was possible but only if it was the “right deal”, indicating perhaps that negotiators from the two countries have not found it yet.

“We wanted to do something, (but) we will see,” President Trump said to reporters at the White House, when asked if he is expected to sign a trade deal during the visit. “If we can make the right deal, we will do it.”

Trump did not elaborate. But the United States is looking for greater access to the Indian market for its dairy producers and makers of medical devices and some other concessions, for a near-term deal, with the larger and more complex issues of a Free Trade Agreement and others kicked down the road to another time.

Indians, in return, are seeking the restorations of its benefits under a preferential US trade regime called the Generalized System of Preferences, which were terminated by the Trump administration last summer for India’s refusal to concede more market access to US companies.

Trump and first lady Melania Tump start on a two-day visit to India on February 24, the two sides have said in simultaneous announcements. Ahmedabad is likely to be their first stop, followed by New Delhi and a brief stopover in Agra on the way back to the United States.

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