With hugs and smiles, Obama begins India journey

Radiant smiles, a stately wave of hands, warm hugs….US President Barack Obama touched down in India to begin a three-day historic trip that’s set to map out new frontiers for the dynamic and evolving India-US relations.
The second visit by Mr Obama to India, and the first by an American president as the chief guest at the country’s Republic Day celebrations, is deeply symbolic of a new high point in the transforming relations between the world’s two largest democracies.
With First Lady Michelle on his side, Obama walked down the air-stair of Air Force One on a wintry Sunday morning in Delhi to a red carpet welcome.
Breaking protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally received him, with the two leaders warmly hugging each other – an embrace whose meaning is going to unfold in the next three days President Obama will be in India. The surprise decision by Mr Modi to receive his American guest at the airport has kindled optimism that the two leaders have managed to resolve some knotty issues and are on the verge of announcing significant outcomes after their wide-ranging talks in the afternoon.

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