New Delhi (dpa) - US President Barack Obama arrived in the Indian capital New Delhi Sunday to reinvigorate ties and hold talks on energy, defence and trade.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol to personally receive Obama and first lady Michelle at the airport in Delhi.
The two leaders shook hands, hugged and smiled, waving to photographers.Obama will be the first US president to attend India's Republic Day parade on Monday.
He is also the first US president to visit the country twice, in what is seen as a sign of improving India-US ties.
Bilateral relations had soured in 2013 over the arrest of an Indian deputy consul general in New York, for making false statements on a visa application for her housekeeper and paying her less than minimum wage.
Obama planned to visit a memorial to independence hero Mahatma Gandhi before sitting down to discussions with Modi.The visit is high on symbolism, but Indian diplomats also expect agreements on defence cooperation, renewable energy and trade.Obama and Modi will also look to make a breakthrough on a stalled civilian nuclear deal, local media reported citing official sources.
The 2008 pact has been stuck over a 2010 nuclear liabilities legislation that makes US suppliers liable for accidents if their equipment is found at fault.Climate change and counter-terrorism cooperation are also on the agenda."While I recognize the important symbolism of this visit, I also see it as an opportunity to work with Prime Minister Modi to make concrete progress and to hopefully begin a new era in history between our countries," Obama told India Today magazine.
New Delhi has been under tight security for the Obama visit with tens of thousands of security personnel deployed across the city along with 15,000 security cameras.
Obama and Modi will participate in a business executives forum and address the India-US business summit.Obama cancelled plans to visit the Taj Mahal on Tuesday, to fly to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah.