English International

US President Donald Trump visits the ‘monument of love’ in Agra

INTERNATIONAL DESK: US President Donald Trump is visiting the historic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra, reports BBC.

This is the second stop in Mr Trump’s 36-hour long trip, which is his first official visit to India.

He arrived in the country earlier in the day, landing in Gujarat state, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two leaders will conduct diplomatic talks on Tuesday, which are expected to deepen ties between their countries.

Mr Trump received a colourful welcome in Agra, which included dancers dressed as peacocks and horses.

While Mr Modi was not present, he was greeted by a close ally of his, Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the state where Agra is located.

The Trumps then left for the Taj Mahal, a 17th Century marble marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his queen, Mumtaz Mahal.

It is perhaps India’s most famous monument and is usually part of every visiting dignitary’s itinerary.

Earlier in the day, in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city, Mr Trump addressed a huge crowd at the Motera cricket stadium.

“Namaste,” he began to a thunderous round of applause, before going on to refer to several Indian icons, from history to cricket to Bollywood.

“India will always hold a very special place in our hearts,” he added.

He also had words of praise for Mr Modi: “Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough. You are not just the pride of Gujarat, you are living proof that with hard work, Indians can accomplish anything they want.”

However, he struggled to pronounce several Indian words – from Ahmedabad, the city where he was speaking, to Swami Vivekananda, an Indian philosopher, greatly admired by Mr Modi. He also called the Vedas – ancient Hindu texts – “Vestas”.

He ended his speech by saying, “God bless India, God bless the United States of America – we love you, we love you very much.” He spoke after Mr Modi, and the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan says crowds began leaving mid-way through the US president’s speech.

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