New Delhi: US President Barack Obama has greeted President Pranab Mukherjee ahead of Republic Day, appreciating India`s rich and diverse cultural heritage and promising to advance the relationship between the two countries.
In a special message to Mukherjee, Obama said: "The Republic of India has nurtured the world`s largest democracy since adopting its Constitution 65 years ago, while honouring the country`s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
"As we work to deepen the ties between our great democracies and advance our partnership for the 21st century, we will continue to do so on the basis of the democratic ideals contained in our constitutions."
The US president said it was a great honour to serve as the chief guest during the Republic Day celebrations, a Rashtrapati Bhawan release said.
"Michelle and I very much look forward to returning to India, and once again enjoying the generosity, hospitality, and beauty that marked our last visit in 2010," he said.
"On behalf of the American people, I extend best wishes as you and the people of India celebrate India`s Republic Day Jan 26," the message said.