Indicative of the importance India accords to its emerging strategic relationship with the US, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur personally welcomed US President Barack Obama and Michelle at the city airport on Sunday.
The Obamas are in Delhi on the second part of their three-day India tour. They had arrived in Mumbai yesterday, where their itinerary included paying respects to 26/11 martyrs, meeting business honchos, school children and youth.
Presidential plane ‘Air Force One’ landed at the IGI Airport at 3.25 pm and headed to Palam Air Base side of airport where the red carpet was rolled out to welcome him.
Prime Minister Singh was present on the tarmac – setting aside protocol – along with his wife and other dignitaries which included Army and Air Force Chiefs, Salman Khurshid, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
Singh, 78, and Obama, 49, share a special chemistry and have praised each other on several occasions. Obama hosted the first state dinner of his presidency for Manmohan Singh in Washington on November 24 last year.
From the airport, the US President headed to the Roosevelt House located inside the US embassy to meet Embassy staff and then will be visiting Humayun’s Tomb.
Later in the evening, the Obamas will be attending the private dinner being hosted by the Prime Minister at his official residence, 7 Race Course Road.