Trump: Looking forward to being with Indians, trip not long enough (Ld)




 US President Donald Trump, who has said that he is looking forward to being with the people of India, is on the final leg of his journey to Ahmedabad after a short scheduled stopover at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, according to the pool reporter travelling with him.

Air Force One spent 80 minutes at the base for refuelling on Sunday and continued the journey at 11:30 p.m. local time (4 a.m. Monday in India) and is scheduled to reach Ahmedabad at 11:40 a.m.

Before leaving the White House, he told reporters, that he felt the two-day trip was not long enough, although it will be very exciting.

He said, "I'm going to be there one night. That's not too much."

But "it's going to be very exciting," he said.

With the campaign for the November presidential election in full swing, he has a tight schedule.

A day after his return, Trump is to attend a campaign rally in South Carolina on Thursday before the state's primary election on Saturday.

He said, "I look forward to being with the people of India. We're going to have many millions and millions of people."

He added, "I get along very well with the Prime Minister, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. He's a friend of mine. I committed to this trip a long time ago, and I look forward to going."

About the the "Namaste Modi!a programme at Ahmedabad's Sardar Patel Stadium, he said, "I hear it's going to be a big event. Some people say the biggest event they've ever had in India. That's what the Prime Minister told me. This will be the biggest event they've ever had."

He had earlier tweeted, "Look so forward to being with my great friends in INDIA!"

Trump who had last visited India in 2014 as a real estate businessman returns as President this time.

The visit 19 days after his "acquittal " and his first foray abroad - is an attempt to revalidate his standings as a statesman admired by millions.

Trump is probably more popular in India than in the US, if the Pew Research opinion poll that showed 56 per cent of Indians having confidence in him is to be taken as a measure of his popularity.

In the US, his approval ratings in recent polls range between 42 per cent and 49 per cent for an average of 46 per cent, according to the polls aggregator RealClear Politics.

The highlight of his visit is the "Namaste Trump!" event at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, where he is expected to address a crowd of about 120,000.

For him and First Lady Melania Trump, the next stop is to be Agra and the Taj Mahal.

They fly to Delhi Monday night for fully packed Tuesday, when he is to hold bilateral talks with Modi, meet Indian investors in the US manufacturing sector and attend a State Dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Trump, who is into superlatives and records, probably meant the crowds for a visiting leader when he claimed that Modi had told him he would have "the biggest event they've ever had." -IANS


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