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Indo-US cooperation to enter new era as Delhi awaits Trump’s arrival

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GR News Dek | New Delhi

India and the United States are set to enter a new era of cooperation n and bilateral relations as President Donald Trump arrives in Ahmedabad on Monday. The first visit by Trump since taking over the reins of the world’s oldest democracy will take him through Ahmedabad, Agra, and Delhi as India gears for displaying its diverse culture and tradition to the president’s family.

Trump will arrive in Ahmedabad on Monday, where he will be welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who on Sunday said, “India looks forward to welcoming @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. It is an honour that he will be with us tomorrow, starting with the historic programme in Ahmedabad!”

After arriving in the Gujarat city, which has hosted several other world leaders in the oast, Trump will head to the Motera Cricket Stadium, touted as the world’s biggest and address a crowd estimated above one lakh. The “Namaste Trump” event, organised by the Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti, is being seen as a reciprocal of the “Howdy Modi” event addressed by Modi last year. The even holds significance in the backdrop of an election year in the US and Trump would aim to rally NRI supporters in his home country.

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Preparations at the Motera Cricket Stadium are in the final phase and will be ready for the event in time officials have said. The government is leaving no stones unturned and an amount of nearly Rs 85 crore is being spent to host the US president for a little over three years. The President is likely to visit the Sabarmati Ashram as well.

Following the event, Trump will head to Agra along with First Lady Melania Trump and visit the Taj Mahal. A massive restoration and cleanliness drive has been underway in the city for over a week to host the first US family. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is said to accompany the couple and give a tour of the monument.

The US, which is coming with a massive delegation of business leaders, is negotiating hard on a defense deal after a potential trade deal was rubbed off. Trump has been openly critical of trade with India suggesting Delhi charges massive tariffs. When it comes to defense, Indian policy has seen a major change with its focus shifting on US companies amid boosting Make in India. The US-India defense deals have ballooned in the past decade, from nearly zero in 2008 to a little more than $15bn in 2019.

Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India and the United States (US) were likely to discuss issues related to security, counter-terrorism and regional issues, including Pakistan. “Thre is strong cooperation between India and the US which reflected in the support we received after the deadly Pulwama attack. We expect discussions around security, investment, counter-terrorism and exchange of view on regional and multilateral issues with the US,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said earlier.

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Meanwhile, anti-drone detachment of NSG, snipers, elite SWAT commandos, kite catchers, canine units, sharpshooters on high-rise buildings and Parakram vans have been deployed as security forces fortified the three stops on Trump’s itinerary.

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