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Obama Arrives In India


U.S. President Barack Obama (left) talks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arriving in New Delhi on January 25.

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) talks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arriving in New Delhi on January 25.

U.S. President Barack Obama has landed in New Delhi for the start of a two-day visit to India.

Obama was scheduled to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 25 and lay a wreath at a memorial honoring Mahatma Ghandi.

Not long after Obama's arrival, he and Modi announced that they had reached an agreement to break the deadlock that has been stalling a civilian nuclear power agreement between their respective countries.

The landmark deal, signed in 2008, gave India access to civilian nuclear technology.

But the agreement has been held up over American insistence on tracking fissile material it supplies to New Delhi and over Indian liability provisions.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Obama in the Indian capital, Modi said, "I am pleased that, six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation.”

"Today we achieved a breakthrough understanding on two issues that were holding up our ability to advance our civil nuclear cooperation and we are committed to moving towards full implementation," said Obama.

During his trip to the subcontinent, Obama will be the guest of honor at India's annual Republic Day parade on January 26, marking the day in 1950 when the country's democratic constitution came into force.

Obama will be the first U.S. president to attend India's Republic Day parade.

Obama has a long list of topics to discuss with Indian officials during his trip -- from trade to international security and the battle against terrorism.

In an interview published by the newspaper India Today on January 22, Obama recalled that the United States and India have both suffered from terrorism and that "Indians were tragically killed on 9/11, as were Americans on 26/11 [2008]" in the Mumbai attacks.

Obama's trip to India was originally scheduled for three days, but he cut it short to travel to Saudi Arabia and meet with new monarch King Salman.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and India Today
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