US President Donald Trump will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a massive gathering of Indian-Americans in Houston, the White House said Sunday, in a symbolic show of the bond between the two leaders and countries.
The September 22 rally – dubbed, with a touch of Texan twang, “Howdy, Modi!” – will mark a rare joint appearance between a US president and a foreign leader before an ethnic community, and be the pair´s third meeting this year. Organizers say that more than 50,000 people have registered for the event, which will take place inside the NRG Stadium of the Houston Texans football team.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “It (Modi-Trump joint rally) will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.”
The White House said Trump would travel the same day to Ohio to showcase an Australian-owned factory alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who will be on a state visit. The two joint appearances amount to a day-long attempt to nurture relationships with foreign leaders by Trump, whose brash style and outspoken remarks have frequently unnerved allies.
The rally with Modi indicates that the two countries have turned the page on an incident in July when Trump baffled India by saying, in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, that Modi had sought mediation on occupied Kashmir, a flashpoint for conflict between the nuclear-armed powers.
India has for decades rejected any outside role in occupied Kashmir. Last month, India revoked occupied Kashmir´s autonomous status and snapped communications for much of the Muslim-majority region.
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