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PM Modi and President Obama to discuss civil nuclear pact, defence cooperation

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre L) walks with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2014. President Barack Obama took a first chance to size up Narendra Modi, as the new Indian Prime Minister, an intriguing novice on the world stage, brought a tour which wowed New York to the White House.

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama will hold bilateral talks during their meeting at the Hyderabad House in the national capital, where the two leaders are expected to discuss the pending civil nuclear pact and shore up defence cooperation between the two nations. The two leaders are also expected to sign memorandums of understanding between their respective countries. Before going in for their one-on-one talks and a working lunch, both leaders came out onto the portico of Hyderabad House and waved to the mediapersons present there. During the photo-op, both leaders exhibited their camaraderie, shaking hands and smiling for the cameras. Earlier in the day, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama landed in New Delhi for their three-day visit of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the Air Force Station at Palam to greet the visiting dignitaries. The three shared pleasantries before President Obama left for his hotel.  Later, President Pranab Mukherjee formally welcomed his US counterpart to India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Obama was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with a grand welcome ceremony followed by the Guard of Honour, where the battalion was led by Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force. The US President also received a 21-gun salute.

National anthems of both nations were also played to welcome the visiting President. President Obama also visited Raj Ghat, paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi via a wreath and planting a sapling at his final resting place.  On his trip to India, President Obama has been accompanied by a sizable delegation of top leaders, including Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, among others. President Obama, who is the chief guest of this year’s Republic Day parade, will be the first U.S. president to attend the Republic Day celebrations.  Obama, who visited India in 2010, will also be the first U.S. president to visit the country twice while in office.