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US President leaves for India

US President leaves for India

India Blooms News Service | 25 Jan 2015, 01:06 am
Washington, Jan 24 (IBNS): Barack Obama and wife Michelle left for their three-day visit to India even as the White House on confirmed that the US President's visit to the historic Taj Mahal in Agra city has been cancelled.

Obama left for his visit to the Asian nation  from the Andrews Air Force base.

Obama will be coming to India on an invitation by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend this year's Republic Day parade.

The White House on Saturday confirmed the cancellation of  Obama's visit to Taj Mahal as he 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.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement: "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."

" 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," read the statement.

The US President will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, security agencies in India were busy working on the last minute detail for a 'never seen before' ground-to-air security arrangement.

As Obama and Prime Minister Modi share the dais on January 26, Delhi turns into an impregnable fortress, far surpassing the arrangements made on any Republic Day engaging snipers to sniffer dogs.

The army, police, para military forces, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) will be working in tandem with the US intelligence agnecy CIA and Navy Seals for foolproof security.

Reports said for the first time the  Rajpath and India gate would remain shut on January 26 while a no-fly zone within a radius of 400 km of the venue of Rajpath has been imposed for the day, barring operation of flights in Delhi and several adjoining areas.

The US authorities had earlier demanded a no-fly zone around Rajpath which would have barred the traditional fly past by the Indian Air force. The Indian authorities managed to stick to their ground by saying that the fly past would be for only 10 minutes.

Reports said altogether 71 high rise buildings in the vicinity of Rajpath would be partly or completely shut down for this year's Republic Day celebrations.

The buildings will go  under the command of security personnel and snipers will take position on rooftops.

The nearby government buildings like  North and South Blocks, Rail Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Shastri Bhavan, Vayu Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, and Vigyan Bhavan will be shut by 25 January to be occupied by security personnel.

US President leaves for India

India Blooms News Service
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