Day 2 of Donald Trump's India visit sees three pacts, $3 bn defence deal

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with US President Donald Trump prior to their meeting at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)
India and the US inked three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on Tuesday in New Delhi on US President Donald Trump’s second day of his maiden visit here.

The pacts came on the heels of Prime Minister Modi’s assertion that the two countries have decided to take their ties to a comprehensive global partnership level.

The agreements were signed in the health and oil sectors. An MoU was signed on mental health between the health departments of the countries.

Another memorandum of understanding on the safety of medical products was signed between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization with the US Food and Drug Administration.

A letter of cooperation was signed between Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Exxon Mobil India LNG Limited and Chart Industries Inc, US.

As was expected, helicopter deals worth $3 billion were also finalized, in yet another sign of India’s shift to the US for military supplies from its traditional supplier, Russia. In his brief remarks at the start of official talks, Modi said: "Defence cooperation between two countries is reflective of rising strategic partnership between India and US. We also agreed on new mechanism to contain drug trafficking."

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and US President Donald Trump arrive to address their joint press statement, at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

"I look forward to you explaining to the media later on the progress we've made on trade," Trump said, sitting alongside Modi. The two countries have been trying to close differences over farm goods, medical devices, digital trade and proposed new tariffs.

Trump also said he looked forward to Modi speaking more "about the progress we've made on fighter jets...and energy."

Later in the day, Trump addressed a gathering of business leaders at the national capital. Speaking about coronavirus he assured India Inc that the outbreak is now under control.

“China is working very hard to contain coronavirus; it looks like they are getting it more and more under control. Coronavirus outbreak is going to be under control,” he said.

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be "happy healthy and well".

Sounding optimistic about his own prospects in the upcoming US elections, President Trump said: “Markets will jump thousands of points when I win.”

Hugs get tighter

From the extensive preparations to the ‘Howdy Modi’ inspired event, Trump’s maiden visit saw much bonhomie on display between the US President and Modi.

Speaking about day 1 of his visit, Trump on Tuesday told Modi: “It was a great honour for me. I would imagine they (the people) were there maybe more for you than for me... 125,000 people were inside. Every time I mentioned your name, there were cheers. People love you.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. AP

Earlier in the day, the US President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the capital’s Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi welcomed Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Bhavan. The US president also received a tri-services guard of honour at the presidential palace.

On day 1 of his visit, Trump arrived in India to a rousing welcome at Ahemadabad’s Motera stadium with over a 100,000 attendees at the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.

He was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner for the much-anticipated visit.

After wrapping up events in Ahmedabad, the First Family reached Agra in the evening and visited the iconic Taj Mahal. 

"The Taj Mahal inspires awe. A timeless testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture! Thank you India," Trump and Melania wrote on the visitor's book. 

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