WASHINGTON: The US President Barack Obama will undertake an official visit to India in January next year, his second as the US president while first after Narendra Modi-led government was formed in New Delhi.
His visit will be made at the invitation of the Indian prime minister to take part in India’s Republic Day celebrations.
In a statement on Friday, the White House said that the US president will travel to India in January for its Republic Day celebrations and talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The president will meet with the prime minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership,” the White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The Republic Day is celebrated in India on January 26 every year to commemorate the date and moment when the Constitution of India came into effect. The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935).
Obama would be the first US president to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations, the White House said.
This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over…invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 21, 2014
Obama informs Nawaz of his forthcoming visit to India
The US president made a telephone call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday evening and informed him of his forthcoming visit to India.
During the conversation, the Pakistani premier urged the US president to take up the cause of Kashmir with the Indian leadership during his New Delhi tour.
The prime minister said that a solution to Kashmir issue would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia.
Sharif told Obama that subsequent unfortunate steps on India’s part including cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks and unprovoked firing across the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary indicated that India was averse to normalization of relations with Pakistan.
“We remain open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard,” the prime minister said.