New Delhi: US President Barack Obama on Sunday received a grand ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force led the Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan for the US President.
Cabinet Ministers Manohar Parrikar, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh also attended the reception .
Earlier, in the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Obamas by standing at the tarmac, in a departure from protocol.
The two leaders hugged each other as they met and exchanged pleasantries. Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, arrived at New Delhi’s Palam airport on Sunday ahead of the 65th Republic Day celebrations.
Soon after their arrival, the Obamas headed to the Maurya Sheraton hotel in their armoured presidential limousine ‘The Beast’, that had driven up to the tarmac.
Obama is also scheduled to visit Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
Obama will be the first US President to grace the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest on Monday.
The two leaders will hold extensive talks with Modi on a number of strategic issues including ways to break the impasse in implementation of the civil nuclear deal and enhancing defence and economic ties.
Both countries are working hard to have “excellent” outcomes from the visit of Obama. The two countries will also deliberate on ways to boost trade and economic ties as well as the crucial issue of climate change.
Obama’s itinerary for today:
Obama to lay wreath and pay homage at Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat
Bilateral discussions at Hyderabad House: The two leaders will first have a restricted meeting, followed by delegation-level talks over lunch
PM Modi to host lunch for President Obama
Meeting and dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee