US President Barack Obama receives warm welcome

SansadTV Bureau

obama8US President Barack Obama was on Sunday received by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the forecourt of the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour and a 21-gun salute.

Earler in the day in a departure from protocol, PM Modi received Obama and his wife Michelle at the Palam airport after they disembarked from Air Force One for the three-day high-profile visit.

“It is a great honour and we are so grateful for your extraordinary hospitality,” Obama said after the ceremony.

The US President was received at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan by a cavalcade of the President’s Bodyguards dressed in bright red with contrasting blue turbans.

Forming a ring around his Cadillac ‘the Beast’, the guards escorted him to the central area of the red-sand forecourt of the estate.

The precinct of Rashtrapati Bhavan was decked up for the visiting Head of the State, who will be the first US President to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day function tomorrow.

The entire stretch from his hotel to the Rashtrapati Bhavan was swarming with security personnel and snipers positioned at roof tops that provided an unassailable ring of security around him.

Upon his arrival at the forecourt, Obama was received by the President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was escorted to the stage as the national anthems of the United States and India played in the background.

Obama inspected the inter-services Guard of Honour. Wing Commander Puja Thakur, who was the Guard Commander, greeted him.

Obama says ‘Namaste’, grateful for extraordinary hospitality

“Grateful for your extraordinary hospitality,” said US President Barack Obama after being accorded ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as he started his three-day State visit today.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Obama was given a ceremonial inter-services Guard of Honour at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan after being received by President Pranab Mukherjee.

53-year old Obama will be the first US President to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day ceremony tomorrow.

“Its a great honour and we are so grateful for your extraordinary hospitality,” Obama said after the ceremony during which he preferred to say “Namaste” with folded hands to the waiting dignitaries.