Will take US-India ties to next level again: Trump

Former United States President Donald Trump has promised that he will take America’s relationship with India to the next level again if he wins the presidential election in 2024.

In a Diwali speech organised by Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump, 76, told a gathering of about 200 Indian-Americans that he shared a great relationship with Hindus, India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said he would nominate RHC founder Shalabh Kumar as his ambassador to India if he gets elected as the US president in 2024.

A video of Trump’s speech at the Diwali reception last Friday was released by RHC on Tuesday, in which the former president says that he has not yet announced if he will run, but if he does, and goes on to win in 2024, he has certain commitments towards the Indian American community.

“We had support from the Hindu population, the great Hindu people both times (2016 and 2020) and great support from India, people from India. I fully endorsed the idea of building a Hindu Holocaust memorial in (Washington) DC. I think it’s time. We are going to get that done,” Trump said.

His remarks came days ahead of the crucial mid-term polls on November 8.

Trump said he probably would not have won in 2016 but for the support from the Hindu community in the battleground States.

He vowed that he will take America’s relationship with India to the next level again if he wins the presidential election in 2024.

In his remarks, Kumar said Trump has been a strong friend to the Hindu community and the RHC is proud of the achievements it has made throughout the years to empower and embolden the diaspora in America.

“Diwali is a time for all of us to reflect upon the victory of light over darkness, and to look towards a new year of prosperity and peace,” he said.

Under Trump, US-India relations had never been stronger, as both sides fostered a relationship rooted in facing common threats from Pakistan and China and with respect and admiration for each other, the RHC said in a statement.

Indo-US relationship made great strides in 2017, with President Trump keeping his electoral promise of being the ‘best friend of India’ inside the White House.

India was the only country for which the Trump administration came out with a 100-year plan; an honour not accorded to even America’s top allies.

Not only did the Trump administration rechristened the Asia Pacific region as Indo-Pacific, much to the anxiety of China, giving a greater role and space for New Delhi in the entire region, but also for the first time the United States stated in clear terms that India is a key player in Afghanistan.

As Trump announced his South Asia Policy — giving India a key role in bringing peace in the war-torn nation — in August, for the first time a US president aligned himself with New Delhi’s position that terrorism emanates from Pakistan.

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