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February 26, 2020

Trump 7th US president to visit India since 1959

National

February 26, 2020

LAHORE: The sitting American head of state, Donald Trump, is the Seventh US President to land on the Indian soil since December 1959, when one of his predecessors, Dwight Eisenhower, was greeted with a 21-gun salute at New Delhi.

Eisenhower was followed by Richard Nixon in August 1969. Nixon, according to “BBC News,” had been in India as US vice-president in 1953. Before that, Nixon had toured India on personal trips.

Then came Jimmy Carter in 1978. The “BBC News” had written: “His two-day visit had marked a thaw in India-US relations, it was not free of hiccups. With some 500 reporters in tow, Mr Carter followed a packed itinerary: he met Prime Minister Morarji Desai, addressed a joint session of parliament, went to the Taj Mahal, and dropped by a village just outside Delhi.”

Bill Clinton’s visit followed in March 2000. The “BBC News” had asserted: “Mr Clinton's arrival came after a two-decade lull - neither Ronald Reagan nor George Bush Senior made the journey East. It came at a tricky time as Washington had imposed sanctions on Delhi following its 1999 test of a nuclear bomb. George W Bush, as Forbes magazine once put it, was the "best US president India's ever had".

His three-day visit in March 2006 was a highlight in the two countries' strategic relationship - especially in matters of trade and nuclear technology, subjects they have long wrangled over.

His strong personal dynamic with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was hard to miss - after he left office, Mr Bush, a keen artist, even painted a portrait of Mr Singh.”

Barack Obama was the only president to make two official visits. First, in 2010, and then in 2015. Obama had landed in Mumbai, instead of Delhi, to express solidarity with the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.

The currently-cited British media outlet had reported: “Mr and Mrs Obama even stayed at the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the main targets. Mr Obama returned in 2015 as chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations, at PM Modi's invitation.”