Obama leaves for India visit
US President Barack Obama took off Saturday morning for his three-day historic visit to India to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day parade, described as a "genuine honour" by the White House.
Due to inclement weather, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived at the Andrews joint base by motorcade instead of Marine One.
Obama's presidential Air Force One plane will have a refuelling stop at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany before flying to New Delhi.
Shortly before take-off, White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced that the Obamas wll not visit the Taj Mahal on the last day of his India trip.
They will go to Saudi Arabia instead to pay his respects to the newly appointed monarch, King Salman, and the family of the late King Abdullah.
Vice President Joe Biden was originally to have led a delegation to Saudi Arabia on Obama's behalf.
However, the schedule for the president's departure from India has been adjusted to allow Obama to stop in Riyadh himself on his way home, Earnest said. - IANS