Trump shaking hands with Modi (White House/Shealah Craighead)
President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon Trump’s arrival in India at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on February 24 (White House/Shealah Craighead)

“America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people,” President Trump said February 24 to a crowd of more than 100,000 in India.

“The story of the Indian nation is a tale of astounding progress, a miracle of democracy, extraordinary diversity, and above all, a strong and noble people,” Trump said at the newly renovated Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, billed as the largest cricket stadium in the world. The event was called “Namaste Trump.” In Hindi, “namaste” means “hello.”

Trump, Melania and Modi entering stage surrounded by large crowd (© Alex Brandon/AP Images)
(© Alex Brandon/AP Images)

The president said the U.S. and India are in the early stages of discussion for a trade agreement to reduce barriers to investment. But since the beginning of his administration, commerce between the two countries has increased 40 percent. “India is now a major market for American exports — and the United States is India’s largest export market,” the president said.

Trump speaking to large stadium crowd (White House/Shealah Craighead)
(White House/Shealah Craighead)

Trump also highlighted the first-of-its-kind Tiger Triumph military exercise the U.S. and India held last year. “The United States should be India’s premier defense partner,” Trump said. “Together, we will defend our sovereignty, security, and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region for our children and for many, many generations to come,” he said at the stadium.

Trump and Melania standing in front of Taj Mahal as flock of birds flies past (© Alex Brandon/AP Images)
(© Alex Brandon/AP Images)

The president’s next stop was a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Before departing, he said, “Let our two nations always stand together as powerful defenders of peace and liberty, and the hope of a better world for all of humanity.”