OBAMA IN DELHI
To Address Parliament Today
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Nov 7: US President Barack Obama arrived here on Sunday on the second leg of his three-day visit to India and was personally received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who set aside protocol to welcome the guest.
The Air Force One carrying Obama, his wife Michelle and the official delegation touched down at the Delhi Airport at 3.19 PM and the President and the First Lady waved their hands while getting down from the aircraft.
Soon after alighting from the aircraft, Obama hugged Singh after shaking hands with him and greeted his wife Gursharan Kaur with a peck on her cheek. Michelle greeted Singh and Kaur the same way.
The couples were seen chatting for a few minutes before the visiting dignitaries were introduced to officials in the reception line including Minister-in-Waiting Salman Khursheed, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar.
Singh’s receiving the Obamas is a special gesture signifying the importance India attaches to the US President’s maiden visit. Obama said specific announcements on issues like “counter-terrorism”, regional security and clean energy are likely after talks between the two leaders tomorrow.
Singh had received Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush at the airport when he visited India in 2006. The Prime Minister had also gone to the airport to personally receive Saudi Arabia King Abdullah.
Obama, who arrived in Mumbai yesterday afternoon, paid tributes to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai carnage and said his stay at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the targets of the Mumbai terror strikes, was intended to send a strong message against terrorism.
Before embarking for Delhi, Obama and Michelle celebrated Diwali with children at the Holy Name School in Colaba and then interacted with students at the St. Xavier’s College in a typical U.S. townhall style.
OBAMA VISITS HUMAYUN’S TOMB
U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on Sunday visited the 450-year-old Mughal marvel Humayun’s Tomb here.
Obama, who kicked off his engagements in Delhi with the visit to the 16th century marvel, went around with his wife intently getting the feel of the monument, which is said to have inspired the creation of Taj Mahal.
They drove to the monument soon after their arrival from Mumbai at the airport here. Obama became the first American President to visit Humayun’s Tomb, the resting place of Mughal emperor Humayun, which is an artistic precursor to the 17th century monument of love Taj Mahal.
“Wonderful. Let’s take a look,” Obama said as he entered the main building.
Obama, dressed in white shirt with a tie and black trousers, and Michelle listened intently and were seen enquiring about the various elements of the 450-year-old structure.
Then they met 14 kids, children of workers at the monument, and shook hands with them. The kids, aged from 4 to 10 years of age, were accompanied by their parents.
Obama is scheduled to hold talks with Manmohan Singh on Monday and address a joint session of the parliament later on in the day.
‘I will discuss in greater detail our efforts to broaden and deepen our cooperation and make some specific announcements on important issues like counter-terrorism and regional security,’ Obama said in Mumbai before flying to New Delhi.
He said there would be announcements on clean energy and climate change and on the advance of development and democracy around the globe as well.
Officials accompanying the US leader earlier said as many as 18 announcements across economic, security and political fields were likely after Obama meets Singh on Monday.
The US President will also meet with other Indian political and opposition leaders.
‘The US-India relationship will be indispensable in shaping the 21st century. And the reason why is simple - as two great powers and as the world’s two largest democracies, the United States and India share common interests and common values,’ Obama said.
‘Together, the United States and India can shape a century in which our own citizens and the people of the world can claim the hope of a better life.’
The talks are expected to cover revitalizing economic relations and regional issues, like the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. India’s troubled ties with Pakistan will also feature in the talks.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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