President Trump's visit to further strengthen strategic ties

US Senate

US Senate

Describing this as a significant visit, Mukesh Aghi, president of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum, noted that last three American presidents had made trips to India.

Late a year ago, Trump joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a massive gathering of Indian-Americans in Houston, in a symbolic show of the bond between the two leaders and countries. This will be President Trump's first visit to India, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

"But it was a very aggressive statement and I hope they're [India and Pakistan] going to be able to come together and do something that's smart and good for both".

Trump and Modi would later inaugurate the newly- constructed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in the city's Motera area and address a gathering, likely to be attended by over one lakh people, the sources said. The visit comes five months after he joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the grand "Howdy, Modi" event in Houston, Texas.

He added that the two countries share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will make the trip to "strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership", the announcement said.

"The global strategic partnership between India and the U.S. is based on trust, shared values, mutual respect and understanding, and marked by warmth and friendship between the peoples of the two countries", the MEA said in its statement. Trump's visit follows Modi's tour of the US in September, during which he met with the US President in NY on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. India is likely to host a public reception for Trump in Ahmedabad, to reciprocate for his gesture of attending the "Howdy Modi" event in Houston past year. "It's nearly complete and it's the largest in the world". The United States, in particular, is seeking greater access to the Indian market for US agricultural goods and medical devices.

The two sides are close to a deal, said a person familiar with the matter, but did not comment on whether a pact would be sealed in time for Trump's visit. India's merchandise exports to the U.S. have risen for the past four years, registering $52.4 billion in FY19, up from $47.8 billion in FY18.

To cut short lengthy negotiations between Lockheed and the Indian government, the helicopters that will be deployed on India's warships will be bought through the United States foreign military sales route, under which the two governments will agree details of the deal.

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