By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi/Washington, Feb 22 (IANS) The US on Saturday officially confirmed that a 12-person delegation will accompany President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania during their two-day trip to India on February 24.
A senior administration official said that the US Ambassador to India Ken Juster; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette; Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien will accompany the President.
Besides, the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, both senior White House advisers, will also accompany him on the trip.
Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller; White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino; Chief of Staff to the First Lady Lindsay Reynolds; Special Representative for International Telecommunication Policy Robert Blair; and White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham are also part of the delegation.
For the bilateral meeting between the President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the additional participants include Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer of the US International Development Finance Corporation; Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC; Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President for South and Central Asian Affairs; Kash Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism; and Mike Passey, Director for India, National Security Council.
Trump will arrive in Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat, on Monday, where he will deliver remarks at Sardar Patel Stadium with Modi.
With Modi, the President and the First Lady will then head to Agra where they will visit the Taj Mahal.
Later in the day, they will fly to New Delhi and have a full programme on Tuesday.
The Tuesday programme will include ceremonial events, bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister, a business event with Indian investors, with a special focus on companies that are investing in manufacturing in the US.
Donald Trump will also have a meet-and-greet with the US embassy staff and a meeting with his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind.
To conclude the visit, there will be a state dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday evening.
The state administration official said: “The President is going to India as a demonstration of the strong and enduring ties between our two countries. These are ties based on shared democratic traditions, common strategic interests, and enduring bonds between our people. And, in part, this has been exemplified by the very close relationship between the President and Prime Minister Modi.”
The focus will on building economic and energy ties. The two-way trade in goods and services exceeded $142 billion in 2018.