Obama to spend more time in India than any other country so far

Obama to spend more time in India than any other country so far

According to U.S.  Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Ambassador Robert Blake, President Barack H. Obama will make a three-day visit to India that will mark another seminal milestone in our bilateral relations. ” This  will mark his longest stay anywhere outside the U.S.  said  Blake, speaking at the Baltimore, Maryland Council of Foreign Relations.

While official plans have not yet been announced, the American President is expected to arrive in Mumbai on the Diwali festival on the new moon of Friday, November 5.  Diwali (or Deepawali) marks the anniversary of the return of the Hindu God Ram to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and after a brutal battle with the demon-god Ravan, the king of Lanka.  For many traditional Indian business, the day after  Diwali is also the beginning of the fiscal new year.  Obama is expected to keynote a business conference on that day in Mumbai. The arrival date implies that thousands of Indian security personnel will spend the entire week prior to the most major festival in preparation for the Presidential visit. Mumbai is a densely populated city and has been the target of many Al-Qaeda style terrorist attacks since 1992.

India’s Parliament was to begin its Winter Session on Tuesday, November 9, but may hold a special joint session event on the evening of Monday November 8 so that Obama can address both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.  The President is expected to go on to visit Indonesia (where he lived for a few years),  South Korea, and Japan for a total of about 12 days away from the United States.


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