Ahead of his upcoming trip to India, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter saying, I am going to India in two weeks and looking forward to it.
Trump who has been ranked number one by Facebook and Prime Minister Narendra Modi number two on their popularity on the social networking site, also added that it is a great honour.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will pay a state visit to India on February 24 and 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, it was announced this week.
This would be president’s first bilateral visit in the third decade of the 21st century and also the first after his acquittal by the Senate in the impeachment trial.
Taking to Twitter, he claimed to be the number one on Facebook, citing a remark of Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the social media company.
Great honor, I think? Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that “Donald J. Trump is Number 1 on Facebook. Number 2 is Prime Minister Modi of India.” Actually, I am going to India in two weeks. Looking forward to it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2020
“Great honour, I think? Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that “Donald J. Trump is Number 1 on Facebook. Number 2 is Prime Minister Modi of India.” Actually, I am going to India in two weeks. Looking forward to it!,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
This is not the first time that the US President has claimed to be the number one and Prime Minister Modi number two on their popularity on Facebook.
Last month in an interview to CNBC TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump said: “I’m No.1 on Facebook, you know whos no.2? Modi from India”.
During his visit to India, Trump, in addition to New Delhi, will also visit Ahmedabad to address a joint public meeting with Modi at a newly-built stadium.
Experts believe that Trump’s upcoming visit to India will be a “delightful spectacle” and “utterly successful” by many measures.
“I think the Trump visit will be a delightful spectacle and utterly successful by many measures,” Ashley Tellis, who is Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told PTI.
Trump is expected to get a roaring welcome by lakhs of people when he arrives in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to deliver a historic speech in front of hundreds and thousands of people at the newly build Motera stadium, the largest cricket stadium of the world.
One of the most prominent experts on India, Tellis, however, noted that at the moment, he was unsure whether the trade disputes between the two countries will be resolved.
Senior government officials are tight-lipped on this issue, except for making comments in recent past that the two countries are on the verge of a trade package or a mini trade deal. “Although the GOI (Government of India) has claimed that both sides are close to a deal, I don’t think there has been real progress certainly none that will satisfy USTR (US Trade Representatives). We might get some progress on defence sales, but that’s uncertain too,” Tellis noted.
“Still, both the countries have done well where defence cooperation is concerned under the Trump administration, which is more than can be said for many other US relationships with its allies. I expect this will further deepen in the years ahead,” he said in response to a question.
“Even if the visit then produces only good optics, I’ll take it all the same if it strengthens Trump’s perceptions of India as a friend. Given his mercurial personality and policies, that is not a small achievement and I think PM Modi understands that well,” Tellis said.
Rick Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, hoped that the two leaders can finalise an agreement to remove some of the recent trade irritants.