Image sourced from US President's official Twitter
Image sourced from US President's official Twitter

Trump holds Diwali celebrations at White House

ANI | Updated: Nov 14, 2018 05:43 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 14 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump hosted Diwali celebrations at the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday (local time).
"Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States & around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family & friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New Year," he tweeted.
He started the celebration by remembering those who have lost their lives in the California wildfires, and said, "We mourn the lives of those lost and we pray for the victims. And there are more victims than anybody would ever even think possible. I want to thank the firefighters and FEMA and first responders for their incredible courage in the face of very grave danger."
Trump further highlighted that he had signed a disaster declaration for the state of California on Monday to do everything to "support and protect our fellow citizens in harm's way".
"Our nation is blessed to be home to millions of hardworking citizens of Indian and Southeast Asian heritage who enrich our country in countless ways. Together, we are one proud American family," Trump said while addressing a small gathering made up of prominent Indians in America, including Ajit Pai, the Chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Seema Verma, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, and Neil Chatterjee, the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, amongst others.
He also highlighted his decision to nominate Neomi Rao, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to be on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the official announcement for which is expected on November 14 (local time).
While referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump stated that he was a friend to both his daughter Ivanka Trump and him, while talking about Ivanka's recent visit to India.
India's Ambassador to the United States, Navtej Singh Sarna, was also present at the event along with his wife, Avina Sarna.
Calling India-US relations as a "bulwark for freedom, prosperity, and peace", Trump noted, "The United States has deep ties to the nation of India, and I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi. We're trying very hard to make better trade deals with India, but they're very good traders," drawing laughter from the crowd.
"I just want to thank you, Mr President, for this great honour for India and for the Indian American community. They feel very welcome here and they are integrated into the U.S. society. They are a plus-plus for both for India and for the United States. And I think we are looking at one of the best times we've ever had for the India-U.S. relationship. Thank you for that," Indian Ambassador Sarna said at the event.
The US President also stated, "As we light the Diya in the White House, and we join in the fellowship with all of those who light lamps in their own homes, cities, and places of worship. America is a land of faith, and we are truly fortunate to have these wonderful traditions woven into the tapestry of our national life. And that is true," he said before lighting the ceremonial lamp. (ANI)

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