Team Howdy, Modi! Hopes Namaste Trump Event will Provide Opportunity to Improve US-India Ties

Kusum Tewari

Houston The maiden visit of US President Donald Trump to India next week will provide an opportunity to improve the bilateral relationship, strengthen the strategic ties and deepen commitment to an open Indo-Pacific, according to the team behind the historic “Howdy, Modi!” event here last September.

President Trump will pay a state visit to India on February 24 and 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The US President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including First Lady Melania Trump, the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and a galaxy of top American officials.

In Ahmedabad on Monday, Trump will address the ‘Namaste Trump’ event jointly with Prime Minister Modi at the newly built Motera cricket stadium, the world’s largest.

In September, Trump and Modi shared a stage in Houston at a massive rally of Indian-Americans called “Howdy, Modi!”. In India, they will share a stage for “Namaste Trump,” which roughly translates as Hello Trump.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to greet Trump in Ahmedabad for a road show leading to the rally at the huge stadium with a capacity to accommodate 110,000 spectators.

The “Howdy, Modi!” team would like to extend its best wishes to the organisers of the “Namaste Trump” event in Ahmedabad.

We know the level of hard work that the Namaste Trump event organisers must be putting in for their summit on February 24th, and we look forward to seeing the results of their labour in a few days, Jugal Malani, convener of the “Howdy, Modi” community summit in Houston, Texas, said in a statement.

It was at the “Howdy, Modi!” summit on September 22, 2019 with a packed crowd in attendance that Prime Minister Modi invited President Trump to visit India, the statement noted.

Both the leaders jointly addressed the “Howdy Modi” rally in Houston to a jubilant crowd of 50,000 Indian Americans.

The Texas India Forum is pleased to see that the event has continued to further US-India relations with the visit of President Trump, it said.

The forum, a Houston-based non-profit, hosted the Howdy, Modi! community summit.

President Trump’s visit to India provides another opportunity for improving the bilateral relationship and strengthening their strategic partnership, which would be a potential boon for economic prosperity and world peace, it said.

The visit would deepen commitment to an open Indo-Pacific as well as a deal to reduce existing trade barriers that would generate new jobs in both countries, the statement said.

The Texas India Forum hopes that both the Howdy, Modi and Namaste Trump events would also contribute in surpassing the current USD 145 billion in bilateral trade which will be in the interest of both countries.

Boosting counter-terror cooperation, deepening engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, augmenting defence and trade ties and India’s concerns over H-1B visas are expected to figure prominently in the talks between Trump and Modi on February 25.

Multiple rounds of talks have taken place between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the past few weeks over telephone to sign a possible trade deal during Trump’s visit.

However, the two countries seems to have been stuck on some of the sticky issues in the way of finalising a mega trade deal during the visit.

On the Indo-Pacific region, China has been trying to spread its influence in the resource-rich region. To counter Beijing, the US has been pushing for a broader role by India in the strategically important region.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China”s rising military maneuvering in the region, which is a large swathe of land and sea stretching all the way from the west coast of the US to the shores of east Africa.

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