Monday 23 September 2019 4:48 AM UTC
HOUSTON Sept 23: US President Donald Trump has joined a rally in Texas to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting the United States – a rare mass showing for a foreign leader on the American soil despite trade tensions between the two countries.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Americans and Non-Resident Indians gathered at Houston city’s NRG Stadium on Sunday for the “Howdy, Modi!” rally hosted by Hindu nationalist Modi’s supporters in the US.
Outside the stadium, thousands of people protested against Modi over the alleged human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir and other places targeting India’s minorities, including Muslims, who make up about 170 million of India’s 1.3 billion population.
People attend the Nearly 50,000 people are reported to have attended the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]
“Howdy, my friends,” Modi said as he began his address. “When you say ‘Howdy, Modi’, my answer is that everything is fine in India.”
The 69-year-old Indian leader said he admired Trump for his “sense of leadership” and “strong resolve to make America great again”.
“From CEO to commander-in-chief, from boardrooms to the Oval Office, from studios to the global stage…he has left a lasting impact everywhere,” Modi said, with the US president standing by his side.
Amid chants of “USA, USA” by the crowd, Trump in his address said Modi is “doing a truly exceptional job for India”.
“We are proud to have you as Americans. We thank you, we love you, and my administration is fighting for you every day,” the US leader said.
“We are committed to protect innocent civilians from radical Islamic terrorism,” said Trump, prompting a loud cheer from the audience – including Modi – who stood up from their seats.
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