US president Donald Trump and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shared a stage and showered each other with praise on Sunday at a “Howdy, Modi!” rally attended by upward of 50,000 people, a rare mass showing for a foreign leader on American soil.
Trump, calling the gathering a “profoundly historic event,” was greeted with a standing ovation by the Indian-American crowd and his speech was interrupted several times by roars of approval.
The US leader hailed the India-US relationship and the Indian-American community as he reached out to an ethnic group that voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016. “You uphold our values, you uplift our communities and you are truly proud to be American and we are truly proud to have you as Americans,” Trump the crowd.
Modi’s visit to Houston comes ahead of this week’s UN General Assembly in New York and amid a particularly tense time on the subcontinent.
The Indian leader further strained long-simmering relations with Pakistan last month by revoking the partial autonomy enjoyed by Muslim-majority Kashmir, which both nuclear-armed countries claim. Modi’s move has been met by international criticism.