Obama schedule for India isn't 'finalised'
Washington: US President Barack Obama's visit to India next month would primarily focus on Mumbai and New Delhi, the White House has said, adding that the schedule has not been finalised yet.
Responding to questions about Obama cancelling his trip to Amritsar as reported earlier, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the President would
love to spend more time than the three days he has in India.
"Look, it's a big country. We would love to spend a lot more than the three allotted days that we have in India. This trip will focus our business in the cities of Mumbai and
New Delhi. But we pick where we're going to go on trips based on what we hope to accomplish," Gibbs said.
"We pick sites on foreign trips based on what the President wants to accomplish. We've not finalised the schedule for Asia, including India, yet. We hope to do that over the course of the next week," he said in response to a question.
"We send advance people to many places in each country before we make decisions, in consultation with the host country, in this case the Indian government, about where to
go," Gibbs said.
After a presidential advance trip visited Amritsar last month, it was being widely speculated that Obama would travel to Amritsar and visit the Golden temple there.
According to some reports, the White House team, which visited India last month, had ruled out Obama wearing the traditional scarf to cover his head as they felt may convey an image of him appearing to be a Muslim -- a misinterpretation which the team would like to avoid.
"India is a vast and extraordinary country, and there are many more events that the President would like to do and sites that our advance teams visit than he will have time for during a three day visit," a White House official had said.
The US President is confident of achieving a tangible result during his first-ever trip to India, Gibbs had noted.