New Delhi, Jan 25: US President Barack Obama arrived here today to a red-carpet welcome by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his unprecedented second visit during which the two sides are expected to push for operationalising the civil nuclear pact, firm up defence cooperation besides strengthening ties in areas like trade.
In a departure from protocol, Modi received Obama and his wife Michelle at the Palam airport after they disembarked from Air Force One at around 9:50 AM for the three-day high-profile visit.
Obama will be the first US President to grace the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest tomorrow. He 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.
A multi-layered security blanket was thrown around the city as Central Delhi turned into a virtual fortress with nearly 40,000 personnel drawn from Delhi Police and paramilitary forces guarding every nook and corner and over 15,000 CCTV cameras relaying every movement live to a central control room.
Minister-in-Waiting to Obama Piyush Goyal and top officials of Ministry of External Affairs were present at the airport to greet Obama.