President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are going to India this weekend to attend Tuesday’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi — the first time an American president will be a guest at the event, which celebrates India’s democracy and its constitution.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Obama to be a guest at the annual parade, which will take place Jan. 26.
“This is an enormously important event for the Indian people,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. The invitation “sends a very important message to the world, as well as to the American and Indian people about our commitment to embrace the potential of this relationship.”
Modi, who was elected in May 2014, visited the White House in September.
A number of business leaders and members of Congress will join Obama on the trip, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) Obama, Modi and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will address Indian and American chief executives after the parade.