US President Donald Trump will make a state visit to India on February 24 and 25 and travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad, it was announced on Tuesday, with both governments highlighting that his maiden trip would further bolster the strategic ties and the enduring friendship between the peoples of the two countries. As part of the visit, Trump is likely to also go the Taj Mahal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted that he was "extremely delighted" that US President along with First Lady Melania Trump will visit India. After addressing an event on February 24 at a giant stadium in Ahmedabad on the lines of "Howdy, Modi" in Houston, Texas, last year, Trump and Melania are also likely to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Feb 25, with confirmation likely in the coming days.
Previously, the then US president Bill Clinton had visited the Taj Mahal with his daughter Chelsea. Trump's predecessor Barack Obama could not visit the Taj Mahal despite coming to India twice, in 2010 and 2015.
"Just spoke with Prime Minister Modi," Trump told reporters at his Oval Office on Tuesday in response to a question on his India visit. "He is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India. So, we'll be going at the end of the month." The US President said PM Modi had told him about a huge welcome in Ahmedabad.
"He (Modi) said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40 or 50,000 people... I'm not going to feel so good... There will be five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium (in Ahmedabad)," he joked. "And you know it is the largest stadium in the world. He's building it now. It's almost complete and it's the largest in the world," President Trump said.