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Trump's 'saving the big deal' remarks on eve of India visit an insult, affront to country: Congress

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the issue is serious as it seeks to undermine the progress made in the last many years as regards Indo-US ties.

Published: 19th February 2020 06:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2020 10:09 PM   |  A+A-

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari (L) and US President Donald Trump

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari (L) and US President Donald Trump. (File photo| EPS and AP)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday alleged that the remarks made by US President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to India are an insult and affront to the country's dignity and the government should respond accordingly.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the issue was serious as it sought to undermine the progress made in the last many years as regards strengthening the Indo-US ties.

He also said the tone and tenor of Trump's visit seemed to be "transactional and not strategic".

"The president of the United States of America, on the eve of his first visit to India as the president, has said India has not treated the US fairly. I think, it is an insult, an affront to our dignity as a country and I hope the Ministry of External Affairs or the prime minister would respond to it."

"I think that comment was completely uncalled for. I do hope that the Ministry of External Affairs has responded to it and not swept it under the carpet," Tewari said.

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The Congress alleged on Wednesday that the remarks made by US President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to India were an insult and affront to the country's dignity and the government should respond accordingly.

He also said Trump's visit looked like a "side show".

"The more material thing is that for the president of the United States of America, on the eve of his visit, to say that India has not treated the US fairly, it undermines all the progress in Indo-US relations, which has been made since the steps in the strategic partnership were initiated by late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a process which was then carried forward for 10 years under the able leadership of prime minister Manmohan Singh," the Congress leader said.

"I do not think any right-thinking, self-respecting Indian should take this affront lightly," he added.

Trump has said he is "saving the big deal" with India for later and does not know if it will be signed before the US presidential election in November, signalling that a bilateral trade pact may not materialise during his maiden visit to New Delhi next week.

Forcefully pursuing his "America First" policy, Trump had previously described India as a "tariff king" for imposing "tremendously high" tariffs on American products and had also expressed dissatisfaction over the US-India trade ties.

"We are not treated very well by India," he had said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump will hold talks on February 25 to deepen cooperation in a number of key sectors, including defence and trade, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

Trump, who is scheduled to visit India on February 24-25, will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, he added.

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