Obama scored a first on two counts- the first US President to attend the Republic Day Celebrations (January 26) and visit India twice while in office.
Obama’s presence in Delhi was a personal triumph for Prime Minister Narendra Modi- a visit planned in just two months, contrary to the usual practice of protracted US security measures with intelligence networks and other important functionaries of the government.
Asia Pacific Rim
President Obama and his officials acknowledged the emergence of Asia-Pacific as a region of significance and the desire of the US to play a major role in it.
A Joint Statement issued by Obama and Modi as the American guest wound up his visit highlighted American interest in India’s impressive growth.
In terms of the Statement, the US Government would encourage American investors to take a significant stake in the modernisation of Indian Railways, one of the largest undertakings of its kind in the world and facilitate greater investment in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
President Obama acknowledged the role of the Indian Diaspora in promoting Indo-US relationship. An added variant for closer Indo-US economic relations could include India’s participation as a member-state in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which could not only increase Indo-US trade relations but also bring countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India and America under one trade umbrella.
The two governments also acknowledged the need for closer intelligence sharing and closer collaboration in counter-terrorism mechanism.
Balaji Chandramohan is our Delhi Correspondent.
American President Barak Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchange pleasantries watched by Michelle Obama and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at India’s Republic Day celebrations held in Delhi on January 26, 2015 (Picture by Press Information Bureau, Government of India)