President Donald Trump on Monday, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd estimated at more than 100,000 at the world's largest cricket stadium in India, said the country gives hope to all of humanity.
"Namaste! Namaste," Trump told the cheering crowd at the "Namaste Trump" or "Welcome Trump" event in Ahmedabad. "And hello to India. This is such a great honor," he said, as he began a two-day whirlwind visit.
"The first lady and I have just traveled 8000 miles around the globe to deliver a message to every citizen across this station: America loves India, America respects, India, and America will always be faithful and loyal friend to the Indian people," he said, claiming there were 125,000 there to greet him, although the stadium is said to hold only 110,000.
Trump highlighted his friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that his life "underscores the limitless promise of this great nation."
"Everybody loves him, but I will tell you this. He is very tough," Trump said.
The president said that this visit to India is in "the spirit of fondness and goodwill to expand our cherish partnership of incredible power and potential."
Trump teased a potential trade deal with India saying that he and Modi will be making a "very major, among the biggest ever made, trade deals."
"We are in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment between the United States and India," Trump said. "And I am optimistic that working together the Prime Minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that's good, and even great for both of our countries. Except he's a very tough negotiator."
The president touted India's economic and infrastructure gains under Modi, sighting the expansion of internet, electricity, cooking fuel and sanitation.
When speaking on the poverty rate in India, Trump said that the potential for India is "absolutely incredible."
"India will soon be the home of the biggest middle class anywhere in the world. And within less than 10 years extreme poverty in your country is projected to completely disappear, "Trump said.
"India's rise as a prosperous and independent nation is an example to every nation all over the world," Trump went on to say. "And one of the most outstanding achievements of our century. It is all the more inspiring, because you have done it as a democratic country. You have done it as a peaceful country, you have done it as a tolerant country, and you have done it as a great free country."
Trump also took the opportunity to boast on the economy in the United States saying that "our economy is booming like never before. Our people are prospering and spirits are soaring."
Trump praises 'unity' in India
The president praised “unity” in India even as Modi’s government has rounded up thousands of Muslims in Kashmir and passed a sweeping new citizenship law favoring every South Asian faith other than Islam saying that the country has "always stood strong as one great Indian nation."
"India's a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, the rule of law and the dignity of every human being," Trump said. "Your nation has always been admired around the Earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Jains, Buddhists Christians and Jews worship side by side in harmony."
"Your unity is an inspiration to the world in America," he added.
Terrorism and immigration
Trump said that he believes the United States should be India's "premier defense partner" when it comes to the threat of terrorsim.
"The United States and India are also firmly united in our ironclad resolve to defend our citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism," Trump said which got loud cheers from the crowd.
"For this reason, since take it office by administration is working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on the terrorist organizations and militants that operate on the Pakistani border," Trump said to the roaring crowd.
President Trump ended his day with a sunset tour of the historic Taj Mahal, spending 15 minutes inside and posing for photos with his wife. “It’s truly incredible," he said, according to pool reports.
"Very romantic. I think one of you guys will win a Pulitzer for this," he said to photographers after strolling hand in hand along the water.
He then traveled to New Delhi for a second day of meetings with Modi.