From left to right—First Lady Michelle Obama, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, President Barack Obama, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posed together during a reception at the presidential palace in New Delhi.
President Barack Obama recently made a historic visit to India. His trip was the first time an American President had visited India twice during a presidency. President Obama was also the first American President to be the guest of honor at the Republic Day parade in the city of New Delhi.
President Obama arrived in New Delhi with First Lady Michelle Obama on Sunday, January 25. They were warmly greeted by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister. Their arrival was followed by a visit to India’s presidential palace. At the palace, Indian air force officer Pooja Thakur led the Guard of Honor presentation for President Obama. She was the first woman ever to do so.
During the visit, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi discussed relations between their two countries. The two world leaders share a friendly relationship where they can laugh and joke with each other as well as talk about serious topics. This relationship has helped them deal with important issues, such as trade and defense strategies. Their talks have also brought the two nations closer together in their efforts to work on climate change.
The President and First Lady enjoyed watching the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. This parade honors the day India’s constitution was adopted—January 26, 1950. Even though it was raining, thousands of people lined up to watch the parade. The parade included military vehicles, floats, and camels dressed in costumes. The theme of the parade was “woman power.” This was the first time women from India’s army, navy, and air force were allowed to march in the parade. While in India, President Obama also visited a memorial for important Indian and world leader Mohandas Gandhi.
During a speech to the people of India on his final day there, President Obama said, “As Americans, we believe in the promise of India. We believe in the people of India. We are proud to be your friend. We are proud to be your partner as you build the country of your dreams.” President Obama also addressed the importance of gender equality and protecting the environment in India’s future.