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White House confirms Obama's Taj Mahal visit cancelled

White House confirms Obama's Taj Mahal visit cancelled

India Blooms News Service | 24 Jan 2015, 11:56 pm
Washington/New Delhi, Jan 24 (IBNS): The White House on Saturday confirmed that US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama will not be able to make their trip to Agra to visit the historic Taj Mahal on Jan 27 as they will leave for Saudi Arabia to pay respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the family of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
"President Obama and the First Lady will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday, January 27 in order to pay respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the family of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.  The Vice President was originally to have led a delegation to Saudi Arabia on the President’s behalf.  As the President’s and Vice President’s travel schedules became clearer, we determined that the window when the Vice President would be on the ground in Riyadh coincided with the President’s departure from India," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
 
The statement also informed that Obama regretted the cancellation of his trip to Agra.
 
"Accordingly, we adjusted the schedule in coordination with the Indian Government so that the President would be able to depart India following his speech on Tuesday to stop in Riyadh during the return trip to meet with King Salman and other Saudi officials and offer his condolences on behalf of the American people.  The President regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip.  The Vice President will remain in Washington," he said.
 
Obama will leave India after his address at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on the morning of Jan 27 to meet the new king of Saudi Arabia.
 
The new schedule came after Saudi King Abdullah passed away on Friday. Following the demise, his brother Salman has been declared the new king.
 
Obama's cancellation to visit Agra will be a major disappointment as elaborate preparations had been made to welcome the US President and the first lady. 
 
According to reports, a team of 600 people had been assigned to clean the Taj Mahal in Agra ahead of Obama's earlier plan to visit to the historical monument on Jan 27.
 
US President Barack Obama will be on a three-day landmark trip to India on an invitation by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend this year's Republic Day parade.
 
President Obama will be accompanied by a sizable delegation that will include several top officials as well as First Lady Michelle Obama.
 
The US President will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday morning.
 

White House confirms Obama's Taj Mahal visit cancelled

India Blooms News Service
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