India will give a memorable welcome to United States President Donald Trump when he arrives here in the last week of February , said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Preparations for a public event are under way in Ahmedabad where Mr. Trump will address a public gathering. In a set of messages, the Indian leader highlighted the common values that India and the United States share and reiterated India’s commitment to take bilateral ties to greater heights.
“India and U.S. 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,” Mr. Modi said in a social media message.
Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be visiting Ahmedabad and New Delhi on February 24 and 25, and the U.S. leader is expected to address a public meeting, ‘Kem Chho Trump’, at the 1.1-lakh seater Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.
Government insiders told The Hindu that an additional 10,000 spectators would be accommodated on the floor of the stadium.
Trade bodies FICCI and CII have been roped in to bring in top business executives for the event. Gujarat’s Industry Department has also been instructed to bring in crowds from different industrial zones of the State.
Over 2,500 buses have been hired to ferry people to the stadium where the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has created parking facilities for 3,000 buses and 4,500 cars.
BCCI president Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev will be among the dignitaries who will likely attend the event, besides Bollywood stars.
“India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests. The visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship,” said Mr. Modi.
Last September, Mr. Modi addressed a public rally of non-resident Indians in Houston accompanied on stage by Mr. Trump.
Apart from the trade deal, both sides are also likely to take up closer security and military cooperation and deals during Mr. Trump’s visit which comes months before the Presidential election in the U.S. The visit is also significant as it comes six months after India placed Kashmir in a state of lock-down and introduced a controversial new citizenship law across India, both of which were criticised by sections of the American legislators.