Indians greet PM Modi at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on June 25. Photograph: (Twitter)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in US on Sunday for a two-day visit aimed at boosting bilateral ties, was given a warm welcome by officials from the Indian and the US embassies as soon as he touched down at the Joint Base Andrews Air Force base.
The Indian diaspora, who had gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC to welcome the Indian prime minister, chanted "Modi-Modi" and "Bharat Mata ki jai" upon his arrival.
US President Donald Trump followed suit on Twitter, stating that he looked forward to welcoming the Indian PM at the White House. "Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend", he added.
PM Modi thanked President Trump for the "warm personal welcome" and said he "greatly looked forward to my meeting and discussions with you."
"Old partnerships, new friendships," tweeted Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay.
USA: PM Modi reaches Hotel Willard InterContinental, Washington DC pic.twitter.com/tkTqnHAWYF— ANI (@ANI_news) June 25, 2017
The Indian prime minister will meet top business leaders and Indian diaspora in Washington today.
On Monday, PM Modi will hold talks with Trump on a range of issues including of visas for skilled workers, ways to deepen defence ties and bolster counter-militancy cooperation.
Officials were eager to downplay expectations of the visit, describing it as "no frills" -- in contrast to Modi's first US visit in 2014, when he basked in a rock star welcome at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York and addressed the United Nations, AFP reported.
"If there's one thing we want (from the visit), it's chemistry," one senior Indian official told AFP. "If the chemistry is good then frankly everything else gets sorted."
Some commentators have argued that Modi and Trump should have a natural affinity as political outsiders who have risen to power in part by castigating the traditional ruling elite on a nationalist platform.
One US official said the two leaders had a "lot in common" and noted Modi would be the first foreign dignitary to have a working dinner at the White House under the new administration.
"We are really seeking to roll out the red carpet," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.