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'Guest is God': Crowds gather to greet Trump in India

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U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in India on Monday (February 24) to a raucous reception.

Crowds of tens and thousands roared "Namaste Trump" at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, as he promised them a, quote, "incredible" new trade deal.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:

"I am pleased to announce that tomorrow, our representatives will sign deals to sell over $3 billion in the absolute finest state of the art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces."

The rally was a larger version of the "Howdy Modi" event the two leaders attended in Houston last year to a crowd of 50,000 Indian Americans.

India and the U.S. have built close ties and officials say Trump's two-day visit is a sign of their converging interests, one being to counter China's rise as a superpower.

But the two sides did not manage to hammer out a trade deal ahead of the visit, arguing over markets such as dairy and poultry, along with issues such as data storage.

India is one of the few big countries where Trump's personal approval rating is above 50%.

Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was re-elected last year, has shifted his country firmly to the right and touts his relationship with Trump a success.

Modi pulled out all the stops on this visit, rolling out the red carpet at the airport and escorting Trump and wife Melania to Mahatma Gandhi's former home before a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal.

The two leaders also shared pleasantries online.

Trump tweeted using the Hindi language to say, "We are ready to come to India, we are on our way, we will be meeting everyone in a few hours,"

Modi replied with an old Indian phrase: "The guest is God."

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