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Media captionTens of thousands lined up the streets to welcome Mr Trump

US President Donald Trump has just addressed a massive public rally in India with PM Narendra Modi on his first official visit to the country.

“Namaste,” he began to a thunderous round of applause, before going on to invoke several Indian icons, from history to cricket to Bollywood.

He was speaking at the Motera stadium in Gujarat, Mr Modi’s home state.

Mr Trump’s visit will focus on deepening ties between the world’s two largest democracies.

“India will always hold a very special place in our hearts,” he said.

He also had words of praise for Mr Modi: ” Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough. You are not just the pride of Gujarat, you are living proof that with hard work, Indians can accomplish anything they want.”

However, he struggled to pronounce several Indian nouns – from Ahmedabad, the city where he is speaking, to Swami Vivekananda, an Indian philosopher, greatly admired by Mr Modi. He also called the Vedas – ancient Hindu texts – “Vestas”.

He ended his speech by saying, “God bless India, God bless the United States of America – we love you, we love you very much.”

He spoke after Mr Modi, and the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan says crowds began leaving mid-way through the US president’s speech.

Mr Trump arrived earlier in the day to a grand public reception and road show, with crowds lining his route to the stadium. The road show also featured performers from across the country, showcasing the arts from different Indian states.

Billboards along the route were emblazoned with pictures of the men and carried slogans such as “two dynamic personalities, one momentous occasion”.

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More than 100,000 people packed Motera stadium for the rally

Mr Trump entered to the music of Elton John playing on the speakers. Mr Trump’s love of his songs is well documented.

The event at Motera stadium is being compared to the “Howdy, Modi!” event the two men held in Houston last year, which was attended by 50,000 people.

Mr Trump earlier made a quick stop at the Sabarmati Ashram, where Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in Gujarat, lived for 13 years.

Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tried their hand at the charka or spinning wheel, which is used to spin cloth. Gandhi popularised the act as a form of protest against foreign-made cloth during India’s independence movement.

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Mr and Mrs Trump tried their hand at spinning cloth, while Mr Modi (left) looked on

“To my great friend Prime Minister Modi, thank you for this wonderful visit,” Mr Trump wrote in the ashram visitor’s book.

Ahead of his visit, Mr Trump had said he was looking forward “to being with the people of India”.

“We are going to have many millions and millions of people. It’s a long trip. I get along very well with Prime Minister Modi. He is a friend of mine,” he said.

“I hear it’s going to be a big event… the biggest event they ever had in India.”

But amid the fanfare, a much-talked about trade deal is unlikely to happen during the visit.

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Media captionTrump: ‘I look forward to being with the people of India’

What is at stake during this visit?

The US is one India’s most important trade partners, with bilateral trade totalling $142.6bn (£110.3bn) in 2018. The US had a $25.2bn goods and services trade deficit with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.

Despite growing political and strategic ties, there’s been tension over trade issues. Mr Trump has said India’s tariffs – taxes on imports – are “unacceptable”, and has described India as the “king” of tariffs.

In June 2019, the US ended preferential trade status for India, the largest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – a scheme that allows some goods to enter the US duty-free.

The move caused a diplomatic rift between the two countries after India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products.

An official US report last year said India’s tariff rates on other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) remain “the highest of any major economy”.

The two sides have also differed over price controls on medical equipment and India’s new rules on data storage.

The trade deal was likely to resolve some of these issues. But just days before the visit, Mr Trump announced that he was “saving the big deal for later on”.

Reports say negotiations continued between the two sides until last week, but they were not able to reach a consensus on issues like the restoration of the GSP for Indian goods, and India agreeing to open some of its key markets for US goods.

The two sides are also expected to sign a clutch of other agreements relating to intellectual property rights, trade and homeland security.

In a clear sign of ever closer defence relations, India is expected to sign two big deals with the US to acquire 30 American defence helicopters – MH-60R Seahawk and AH-64E Apache – worth more than $2.6bn.

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A massive reception has been planned for Trump and Modi in Gujarat

Also, the US energy firm Westinghouse is expected to sign a new agreement with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the supply of six nuclear reactors, according to Reuters news agency. The US has been discussing the sale of nuclear reactors to India since a 2008 landmark civil nuclear energy deal.