New Delhi: US President Barack Obama lands in Delhi Sunday for a two-day and was 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.
There is tight security at the ITC Maurya hotel where President Obama will stay during his visit.
Including hotel building, places like Humayun’s tomb and Rajghat that were on the itinerary, have been closed to other visitors. Hundreds of snipers were keep a watch from rooftops on the routes the US President will be taking while aerial surveillance were also be maintained, officials told Agence India Press.
During his visit in Delhi, a five-tier security cover comprising Indian and American security officials will surround Obama.
After having been received by PM Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the Delhi airport, President Barack Obama and Michelle visited the Humayun Tomb as a cultural part of their three day visit to India.
The visit will last 45 minutes wherein the President will be shown around the Mughal era mausoleum.
Obama will have a hectic schedule including a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, visit to Rajghat and Humayun’s Tomb and other engagements such as his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his address to Parliament.
Besides these specific announcements on issues like counter-terrorism, regional security and clean energy are likely to be announced after talks between the two leaders tomorrow.
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.
Before embarking for Delhi, Obama and Michelle celebrated Diwali with kids in a school in Mumbai and then interacted with students at the St. Xavier’s College in a typical US townhall style.
During his interaction with students at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai Obama said, progress in fighting terrorism in Pakistan is not as quick as we like to see.
I am absolutely convinced that the country that has the biggest stake in Pakistan’s success is India, Obama said.
Obama hoped that in time, there is more trust between India and Pakistan and dialogue on less controversial issues.
Obama said India and Pakistan can prosper and live side by side. He said the US can be a partner but cannot impose this process.
India and Pakistan have to arrive at an understanding, said Obama. He also said a stable Afghanistan is achievable.
On a pointed question on his thoughts on jihad, Obama said one of the challenges we face is how to isolate those who have distorted notions of Islam to justify violence.
The notion that violence is the way to mediate differences must be rejected, Obama said.
He said an overwhelming majority of people following Islam want peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All religions teach one to treat others with respect and dignity, Obama said.
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