US president attends 110,000-strong rally at in Ahmedabad with Indian PM Narendra Modi
US president Donald Trump called for India to strengthen its strategic ties with America at a massive rally to kick off a two-day visit to the south Asian country, against the backdrop of growing frictions with New Delhi over trade protectionism.
India will sign a deal to buy $3 billion (€2.76 billion) worth of US-made advanced naval helicopters, Mr Trump announced, as he urged India to look to the US as its “premier defence partner”.
“The US looks forward to providing India with some of the best, most feared military equipment on the planet,” the president told India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and the estimated 110,000 Indians at the rally in the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, the heartland of Mr Modi’s political base, in the western state of Gujarat.
Washington is actively cultivating ties with India as a counterweight to an increasingly assertive China. In his speech, Mr Trump called on India to help ensure “a free and open Indo-Pacific for our children and for generations to come”.
While he did not mention China by name, the US president also lauded India as “a nation that rises by setting its people free, and unleashing them to chase their dreams” in contrast to “a nation that seeks power through coercion, intimidation and aggression”.
Source: The Irish Times