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In a break with protocol, PM receives Obama at airport

U.S. President Barack Obama, who arrived in the Capital on a three-day visit on Sunday, was accorded a grand welcome with Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a departure from protocol to receive him and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Palam Air Force base.

“President Obama is honoured to be back in India to celebrate Republic Day and to begin a new chapter in the U.S.-India partnership. Jai Hind” tweeted the White House soon after the U.S. President landed in Delhi.

Later Mr. Obama was given a 21-gun salute and a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

He inspected the tri-service Guard of Honour, which for the first time was led by a woman officer, Wing Commander Pooja Thakur. The gesture reflected the theme of this year’s Republic Day parade — “Nari Shakti” (women power). The U.S. President will be the Chief Guest at the parade on Monday morning.

“It’s a great honour to be back in India. I am grateful for the extraordinary hospitality,” Mr. Obama, on his second visit to India, said in his brief remarks. He was greeted by President Pranab Mukherjee and later the Prime Minister introduced him to the members of his Cabinet.

After the ceremonial reception, Mr. Obama visited Raj Ghat and paid a floral tribute at the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Obama has often spoken about how he has been inspired by the Mahatma and has borrowed from his ideals and teachings.

Accompanied by Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who is the Minister-in-company for the visiting dignitary, Mr. Obama observed a moment of silence at the Mahatma’s samadhi. He planted a Peepal sapling and received a charkha (spinning wheel) as a memento.

Later, while signing the visitor's book, he wrote, “What Dr Martin Luther King Jr said then remains true today — The spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in the spirit of love and peace — among all people and nations."

> OBAMA'S VISIT TO INDIA

  • DAY 1: JANUARY 25, 2015
  • Arrival in the morning and Rashtrapathi Bhavan Ceremonial
  • Rashtrapathi Bhavan Ceremonial
  • Homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat
  • Bilateral discussions with PM Narendra Modi, followed by a luncheon
  • Meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee
  • Banquet hosted by the President
  • DAY 2: JANUARY 26, 2015:
  • Republic Day function and Rashtrapathi Bhavan Ceremonial
  • 'At home' with Pranab Mukherjeeand a round table with CEOs
  • DAY 3: JANUARY 27, 2015:
  • To address a select gathering
  • Leaves for Saudi Arabia


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Printable version | Jan 11, 2021 1:20:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/in-a-break-with-protocol-pm-receives-obama-at-airport/article6822122.ece

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