New Delhi: India on Tuesday formally announced that US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump will be visiting India on a two-day state visit from February 24.
“At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, His Excellency Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, will pay a State Visit to India on 24-25 February 2020. This will be the President’s first visit to India,” said the press release from the Ministry of External Affairs.
The White House had made the announcement through a tweet several hours before the MEA press release issued on Tuesday morning.
The trip will further strengthen the U.S.-India strategic partnership & highlight the strong & enduring bonds between the American & Indian people. 🇺🇸 🇮🇳
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 10, 2020
The MEA added that the US’s first couple will attend official engagements in New Delhi and Ahmedabad, where they will “interact with a wide cross-section of Indian society”. India is likely to host a public reception for Trump in Ahmedabad, to reciprocate for his gesture of attending the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston last year.
According to India, Trump’s visit “will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to review progress in bilateral ties and further strengthen our strategic partnership”.
Describing the partnership as being based on “trust, shared values, mutual respect and understanding”, MEA asserted that the relationship between India and US has “further evolved under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Trump, with significant progress in all areas including trade, defence, counter-terrorism, energy, coordination on regional and global issues as well as people-to-people ties”.
India had been attempting to get Trump to visit earlier, mainly as the chief guest for Republic Day. However, schedules did not work out, especially since the State of the Union address is also held every year in late January.
With trade being high on Trump’s agenda, there is expected to be some kind of announcement on the economic front which will increase access of certain sectors to the Indian market. However, this is likely to be more of a limited deal.