Indian-Americans enrich our values and uphold our culture, said US President Donald Trump during the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston on Sunday.
A last-minute addition to the schedule, Trump touched upon the ties of the Indian-American community, trade, bilateral ties between India and the United States and border security during his 30-minute speech.
“I am thrilled to be joined by 50,000 prospering members of the Indian-American community. I have come here to express my profound gratitude to the 4 million amazing Indian-Americans all across our country,” said Trump. “Indian-Americans enrich our culture and uplift our values. We are proud to have them as Americans.”
The US President echoed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had introduced Trump as ‘a friend of India’ to the audience, in saying that he was a great supporter of India.
“India never had a better friend in the White House than me,” Trump said. “PM Modi and I have come to celebrate everything India and America share.”
He also praised Modi and congratulated him on his re-election, noting that the two had met three times in the past few months.
“I look forward to working with Modi to make our nations more prosperous than ever before,” he said. “Modi is doing an exceptional job for India and the Indian people.”
Trump avoided talking about the issue of Kashmir and recent tensions between India and Pakistan in the region directly, but alluded to the issue in his remarks on border security.
“Border security is vital to both US and India. Under PM Modi the world is witnessing a strong, thriving and sovereign India,” Trump said, before discussing his administration’s recent progress in sealing the border with Mexico.
The US President also spoke out against Islamic radical elements. “We are committed to protecting innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. We stand proudly protecting innocent Indian-Americans from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” he said.
Speaking about economic development and bilateral trade, Trump chose to focus on the positive aspects such as increasing import of Texas oil and natural gas by India and the USD 18 billion worth of military armaments India purchased from the US.
“India has never invested in United States like it is doing today, and I want to say it is reciprocal because we are doing the same thing in India,” Trump stated.