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Home / World News / Excited Melania Trump looks forward to India visit, celebrating close ties

Excited Melania Trump looks forward to India visit, celebrating close ties

The US President and the First Lady are scheduled to arrive in India on February 24 for a two-day visit, for the first US presidential visit in five years.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2020 22:11 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
First lady Melania Trump speaks during the Governors' Spouses' luncheon in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington.
First lady Melania Trump speaks during the Governors' Spouses' luncheon in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington.(AP)

US First Lady Melania Trump on Wednesday joined the growing excitement in anticipation of her trip to India with President Donald Trump saying they were both “excited” about it and looked forward to “celebrate” close ties between the two countries.

The US President and the First Lady are scheduled to arrive in India on February 24 for a two-day visit, for the first US presidential visit in five years. Though their schedules have not been released yet, they are expected to first visit Ahmedabad where the US president will address a rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is expecting “millions” of people to show up. Their next stop will be New Delhi and then they will leave for home with a brief stopover in Agra.

“Thank you @narendramodi for the kind invitation,” the first lady wrote in a tweet, with a retweet of Prime Minister Modi’s post from Wednesday promising them a “memorable welcome”. She added, “Looking forward to visiting Ahmedabad & New Dehli (a typo, she meant Delhi) later this month. @POTUS & I are excited for the trip & to celebrate the close ties between the #USA & #India.”

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It could not be immediately ascertained if this will be Melania Trump’s first visit to India. But she has met the prime minister before, during his June visit to the White House for his first meeting with the president. The First Lady had hosted a small reception for the Indian delegation and the president’s top aides.

The president has been to India before, at least once that could be confirmed. He visited Mumbai in 2014 as a businessman for the launch of the Trump Tower with local business partners. The Trump Organization’s overseas operations are the largest in India, with 16 properties, according to The Washington Post, all dating to before Trump election to the White House.

The president had cut himself from his business organisation, which is run by his two sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, after his election to the White House and has not visited India since.

His eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, who is an adviser to the president, visited India in November 2017,where she shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ivanka led the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The delegation is a US initiative that had traveled out for the first time.

The president’s eldest son Trump Jr visited in February 2018 on a business trip. He visited four cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata where the Trump Organisation has businesses. The trip had raised eyebrows in the United States for expenses incurred on a private, business visit by the US government.