“Our relationship with India is extraordinary right now,” said the U.S. President
President Donald Trump has described the U.S.’ relationship with India now as “extraordinary” and said a lot of progress was made in bilateral ties during his maiden official visit to the “incredible country” where America is going to do a lot of business.
Trump’s remarks came even as his likely Democratic Party rival in the November presidential elections Bernie Sanders criticised the U.S. president for what he claimed was a “failure of leadership” on the issue of human rights in the light of the communal riots in Delhi.
President Trump and his family visited India from February 24 to 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump was accompanied by the top brass of his administration, including National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Talking to reporters after his return from India on Wednesday, Trump said, “He (Prime Minister Modi) is a great gentleman, a great leader. It’s an incredible country.”
Trump visited Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi. During his stay, he addressed a massive rally in Ahmedabad along with Modi, visited Agra and held official meetings in New Delhi.
The U.S. president was feted at the world’s largest cricket stadium in the “Namaste Trump” event in Ahmedabad and was cheered by tens of thousands of people.
“We were treated very, very well and we really enjoyed it. A lot of tremendous progress was made in terms of relationship — our relationship with India is extraordinary right now,” Trump said.
“We are going to be doing a lot of business with India, they are sending billions and billions of dollars now to the United States,” Trump said in response to a question.
But in the midst of the positive comments on India by Trump, his family and administration officials, his likely Democratic Party rival in the November 3 presidential election, Sanders slammed the president and said the Trump’s statement regarding the violence in New Delhi during his India visit was a “failure of leadership“.
Asked about incidents of violence during his India visit, the U.S. president had said, “As far as the individual attacks, I heard about it, but I didn’t discuss that with him (Modi). That’s up to India.”
Reacting on Trump’s statement on the issue, Sanders on Wednesday tweeted, “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying ‘That’s up to India.’ This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”
Sanders is the second Democratic presidential nominee after Senator Elizabeth Warren to speak against the violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s daughter Ivanka noted that the President announced that the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) will open an office in India.
The USIDFC will establish a permanent presence in India to strengthen our economic ties, improve development plus further women’s economic empowerment through WGDP (Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative)!”
On her arrival from India, she thanked Prime minister Modi for “your warm hospitality as we visited your beautiful country and celebrated the strength, spirit and unity of the US and India!”
“Throughout our visit we saw monumental achievements of human creativity & proof of the infinite capacity of the human heart!” she said.
The First Lady tweeted two pictures of her with Trump facing the Taj Mahal in Agra.
“One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the breathtaking Taj Mahal!” she said.
President Trump “reaffirmed the strong strategic partnership, vibrant economic ties and expanding security relationship between our two countries. Wonderful trip, but glad to be home! Thank you India!” said White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
During Trump’s visit, India and the U.S. finalised defence deals worth $3 billion under which 30 military helicopters will be procured from two American defence majors for the Indian armed forces.
The deals will include procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters by India from the U.S. at a cost of $2.6 billion. Another contract to acquire six AH-64E Apache helicopters for $800 million from the U.S. is also on the table.
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