File Photo: US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN headquarters in New York. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

THE White House has announced that the US president and First Lady Melania Trump will visit India from February 24 to 25.

Trump and the First Lady will attend official engagements in the national capital and Ahmedabad, and interact with a cross-section of Indian society.

The main outcome of Trump’s visit is likely to be the finalisation of a trade deal.

Soon after the announcement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday (11) said that President Trump’s visit to further strengthen strategic ties.

Earlier, India had invited Trump to grace the Republic Day parade as the chief guest but the US President could not come due to scheduling issues.

“The visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to review progress in bilateral ties and further strengthen our strategic partnership,” the MEA statement said.

During his visit to the US in September last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reminded Trump of his invitation to him to visit India along with his family.

The MEA said the global strategic partnership between India and the US is based on “trust, shared values, mutual respect and understanding”, and marked by warmth and friendship between the people of the two countries.

Under Prime Minister Modi the relationship between the two nations has further evolved, the statement said.

Through bilateral relations, significant progress has been made in all areas, including trade, defence, counter-terrorism, energy, coordination on regional and global issues as well as people-to-people ties, MEA said.