New Delhi: The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received Donald Trump, President of the United States of America and the First Lady of USA, Melania Trump, at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 25 February. He also hosted a banquet in their honour.
Welcoming President Trump on his first-ever visit to India, the President said that the attention and interest that this visit has generated is truly remarkable. It shows the goodwill and respect that the people of India have for the US and for President Trump, he added.
President Kovind said that President Trump’s participation in the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event had already won the hearts of millions of Indians, and ‘Namaste Trump’ has brought him even closer to our people. He said that it is the first time that an event of such scale was held in India to welcome a foreign leader. The President described Trump as a valued friend of India and said that we appreciate the progress in India-USA relations during his term in office.
The President said that India views the USA as a long-term friend and a natural partner and our strong democratic credentials bind us together. Continued economic prosperity and geo-political leadership of the USA is in India’s interest, and similarly, India’s growing political, economic and military footprint will be beneficial for USA’s interests in the region as well as globally, he added.
The President said that we are currently undergoing a transition from an agriculture-based economy to a more manufacturing and services-oriented economy and in this transition, we need the support and understanding of our friends and partners. We feel that the US, being our leading economic partner, is uniquely placed to support our growth and development as well as benefit from its expansion, he stated.
Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that as the world’s largest democracies, we are deeply connected with each other through our people and their aspirations. He said that the bedrock of Indian and American society has been hardworking middle-class families and that’s what makes us understand each other instinctively.
President Kovind informed that over 4 million people of Indian origin have made America their home and they are a living bridge between the American Dream and our vision of New India. Our bilateral canvas has many folds, but none more impressive than the one painted by the growing Indian student community in the US, he concluded.
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