President Barack Obama has curtailed his India-visit, skipping a trip to Agra to see iconic Taj Mahal to be able to fly directly from New Delhi to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah yesterday.
“President Obama and the First Lady will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday, January 27 in order to pay respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the family of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz…..
“Accordingly, we adjusted the schedule in coordination with the Indian government so that the President would be able to depart India following his speech on Tuesday to stop in Riyadh during the return trip to meet with King Salman and other Saudi officials and offer his condolences on behalf of the American people. The President regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip. The Vice President will remain in Washington,” a White House statement said.
The statement, issued in New Delhi by the US Embassy, also mentioned that the US Vice President was originally to have led a delegation to Saudi Arabia on the President’s behalf.
“As the President’s and Vice President’s travel schedules became clearer, we determined that the window when the Vice President would be on the ground in Riyadh coincided with the President’s departure from India,” it said, noting that accordingly Obama’s schedule was adjusted.
Meanwhile, after Americans informed about the change in the programme of the President, all concerned security agencies and local administration have been conveyed the same.
He was scheduled to visit the city of Taj with his wife Michelle Obama on Tuesday for which elaborate security arrangements had been made.
The US President, who will be arriving in New Delhi tomorrow for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and be the chief guest at the Republic Day, will leave India on January 27.