Obama Arrives in India for Landmark Visit
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Barack Obama arrived in New Delhi for an unprecedented second visit to India by a serving US president aimed at consolidating what he has called one of the "defining partnerships of the 21st century".
He will be the first US president to attend India's Republic Day parade, a show of military might long associated with the anti-Americanism of the Cold War, and will host a radio show with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi greeted Obama and his wife, Michelle, on the tarmac of Palam Air Force Base in New Delhi as they came down the steps from Air Force One. The two leaders hugged each other warmly.
His presence at Monday's parade at Modi's personal invitation is the latest revival in a roller-coaster relationship between the two largest democracies that just a year ago was in tatters.
"I'd like to think the stars are aligned to finally realise the vision (of) India and America as true global partners," Obama said in an interview with India Today, a weekly magazine, published on Friday.
The two sides have worked to reach agreements on climate change, taxation and defence cooperation in time for the visit. Talks on a hoped-for deal on civil nuclear trade went down to the wire with no clear solution at the weekend.
The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight to China's assertiveness in Asia, but frequently grows frustrated with the slow pace of economic reforms and unwillingness to side with Washington in international affairs.
India would like to see a new US approach to Pakistan.
"Particularly with regards to security, and we would like a much greater understanding with the United States with regards to regional issues," India's finance minister Arun Jaitley said in Davos ahead of Obama's visit, Reuters news agency reported.
Elected last May, Modi has injected a new vitality into the economy and foreign relations and, to Washington's delight, begun pushing back against China's growing presence in South Asia.