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Obama cancels his visit to Taj Mahal

President_Barack_ObamaLucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government officials on Saturday said the much anticipated visit of US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to Agra has been cancelled.

The presidential visit “for all practical purposes was over,” said a government spokesman.

President Obama  has retained the programme of his address to a select gathering in Delhi on January 27, a visit to Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal has been cancelled as the US president will leave from New Delhi for Saudi Arabia whose king Abdullah died on Thursday night.

Obama is coming to India on a three-day state visit on January 25. He will become the first US president to be the chief guest at Republic Day parade on January 26. The Agra visit was slated on the last day of his sojourn.

The official said that the advance teams of the US Secret Service and other officials have returned. He did not elaborate.

Sources, however, told media that the Union government had earlier told the state officials that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav or anyone else was not required to receive the Obamas in Agra as it was not an official programme.

Yadav and his team had in fact, an aide conceded, prepared for the high-profile visit and were okay with even a “brief” engagement between the US president and the UP chief minister.

Inputs from IANS

 

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