Michelle to visit India, daughters skip again

Last Updated 23 January 2015, 02:16 IST

American President Barack Obama will be accompanied by his wife Michelle Obama during his upcoming visit to India, although their daughters Malia and Sasha will give it a miss this time too.

Obama will also be accompanied by Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the American House of Representatives, and three other Democrat lawmakers of United States – Mark Warner, Joe Crowley and Indian-origin Ami Bera. Besides, Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman too will join his entourage to India.

Malia and Sasha could not join their parents on their first visit to India in November 2010. Obama’s itinerary was made public both in New Delhi and Washington on Thursday. 

The Air Force One, with the US president and his entourage onboard, will land in New Delhi around 10 am on Sunday. Piyush Goyal, minister of state (independent charge) for power, will receive the US president at the airport on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Obama and his wife Michelle will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and will be accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan shortly after his arrival in New Delhi. Modi is likely to join President Pranab Mukherjee to welcome the US president and first lady at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Syed Akbaruddin, official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, said Modi and Obama would later hold parleys at the Hyderabad House. 

They would first have meeting in a restricted format with either no or a just a few aides. This would be followed by formal parleys, where the prime minister and the American president would lead delegations from India and US respectively, added Akbaruddin.The discussion would take place over lunch that the prime minister would host for US president, he added. Obama would later meet Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President would also host a banquet in honour of his US counterpart and this would be the second opportunity for Obama and Modi to interact. The US president would also meet several members of the prime minister’s cabinet during the banquet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in addition to the leaders of several political parties, said Akbaruddin.

Visit will strengthen ties, says Centre

NEW DELHI: Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, New Delhi on Thursday said that it viewed the United States as “a key partner for capital, technology, knowledge and skills” in its development efforts.

Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday is likely to give significant boost to bilateral defence, energy and economic ties apart from seeking to bolster cooperation to deal with climate change.

“We see President Obama’s visit as strengthening our ties across the full breadth of our relations – ties between our governments, our peoples and our institutions,” External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said on Thursday.

He said India viewed US as “a potentially important source of clean energy technology and hydrocarbons” and “an important partner in areas like defence technology and counter-terrorism.” Obama’s visit to India from Sunday to Tuesday may see the two countries signing an agreement on cooperation in the field of solar energy. 

Another agreement for cooperation in the field of wind energy is also being discussed and may be inked after the prime minister’s meeting with the US president.

New Delhi also expects the second meeting between Modi and Obama to boost bilateral cooperation in space security and cyber security. Akbaruddin said that New Delhi also viewed US as “a key interlocutor in adjustments to the global security and economic architecture including reforms of the UN Security Council.”

(Published 22 January 2015, 19:59 IST)

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