Trump, Modi get down to business, sign defence deal worth $3 billion
After opening with a heavy dose of pomp and pageantry, US President Donald Trump’s two-day India visit delved into substance on Tuesday when the two countries talked about trade and signed deals.
Delivering a joint statement after bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, Trump said that India has signed a deal to purchase more than $3 billion of advanced military equipment, including helicopters.
“Earlier today, we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than US $3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo Helicopters - finest in the world. These will enhance our joint defence capabilities,” said Trump. India had received the first batch of eight US-made Apache helicopters in September last year.
The relations between the two countries have never been as good as they are now, Trump said, adding that the countries have made “wonderful deal”. He added that the last two days in India were amazing, especially the event at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.
“It was a great honour for me. I would imagine they (the people) were there maybe more for you than for me... 125,000 people were inside. Every time I mentioned your name, there were cheers. People love you,” Trump told Modi in front of the media.
PM Modi said the two leaders discussed “every important aspect” of the partnership between the two countries. “Today we discussed every important aspect of US-India partnership, be it defence and security, energy strategic partnership, trade or people to people ties. The strengthening in defence ties between India and the US is an important aspect of our partnership,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that the unprecedented and historic welcome given to Trump in India will be remembered, adding that the relations between the two countries are not merely confined to governments but are people-driven.
New Delhi and Washington are yet to sign a trade deal, but the two countries would begin talks to strike a comprehensive agreement, the two leaders said.
On the second day of his India visit, Trump was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (presidential palace). President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi welcomed Trump and first lady Melania Trump at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The US President also received a tri-services guard of honour at the presidential palace.
The Trumps, who also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial Rajghat on Tuesday, arrived in Ahmedabad around noon on Monday for the first leg of their 36-hour India visit.