KABUL: (Middle East Press) US President Barack Obama has traveled India on Sunday for a two-day visit amid anti-American protests and unprecedented security operations.
The US and Indian administrations hope to reach agreements on climate change, taxation and military cooperation during Obama’s visit.
Obama’s visit marked the first time a US president has ever visited India twice during his presidency.
He is also the first American leader invited to attend India’s Republic Day ceremonies, which mark the day that India’s constitution came into force in 1950.
The machinery and weapons parading before Obama on Monday will be mostly Russian-made, a vestige of India’s anti-American stance during the Cold War.
The arrival comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was banned from visiting the United States for almost a decade after deadly riots in Mumbai, where he governed at the time.
On Saturday, Indian protesters took to the street in the capital, New Delhi, to express their outrage at Obama’s visit.
The demonstrators chanted anti-US slogans and burned the effigy of the most high-ranking US official, while shouting, “Barack Obama, Hands off India.”
They argued that Obama’s trip seeks Washington’s domination in economic, nuclear and defense ties with New Delhi.
Obama will also be protected by an unprecedented security operation. About 40,000 security personnel are being deployed during the visit and 15,000 surveillance cameras have been installed in the capital.
The president and his wife, Michelle, had planned a three-day visit so they could tour the Taj Mahal in Agra but instead they will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to offer condolences on the death of King Abdullah and “pay respects” to the kingdom’s newly-appointed ruler, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.