U.S. President Donald Trump said at a large rally in India Monday the United States will remain a “loyal” ally pledged to defend it from “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Appearing with first lady Melania Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of 110,000 at a newly built cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, the president received a jubilant welcome on the second stop of a 36-hour trip.
Trump lavished praise on India and its leader while promising to deepen U.S. relations.
“The United States and India are firmly united in our iron-clad resolve to defend our citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said before cheering throngs at the campaign rally-style event, designed in part to shore up support among Indian-Americans for his re-election bid.
“India and the U.S. are committed to fight terrorists and their ideology — that is why my government is working with Pakistan to crack down on terror groups,” he said. “The U.S. will always be faithful and loyal friend of India. Thank you for the spectacular welcome.”
Melania Trump also received a warm welcome from the crowd, which included thousands wearing white hats reading, “Namaste Trump.”
Trump said he and Modi are “sealing” a new defense deal worth $3 billion.
“As we continue to build our defense cooperation, the U.S. looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet,” he said. “We make the greatest weapons ever made. We make the best, and we are dealing now with India.”
In welcoming Trump to his home state of Gujarat, Modi said a “new history” was created.
Following the rally, Trump and the first lady, his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner flew to Agra Air Base and toured the iconic Taj Mahal. Earlier, the president and first lady began their India tour with a visit to Sabarmati Ashram, one of the former residences of Mahatma Ghandi, who led the drive for Indian independence from Britain following World War II.