WASHINGTON: The White House has clarified that US President Barack Obama will not be visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Taj Mahal at Agra because of paucity of time.
“Anybody that would go to (India), would love to… spend a lot more time there," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday when asked why Obama is not visiting the Sikhs’ holiest shrine or the famed Taj Mahal.
"We’re afforded a short trip to a very important country in a very important region of the world because the trip obviously is also anchored by the important economic meetings later on in the trip," he said.
"We are in India for three days. There’s – you could spend a lot longer than that, and obviously anybody would. We picked our schedule based on what we wanted to get accomplished, and that focus was on New Delhi and Mumbai, and that’s going to be the focus of our trip."
Obama would be arriving in Mumbai November 6, a day after Diwali. After spending two days in Mumbai, he would reach New Delhi on seventh evening for a private dinner with Prime Minister.
After a packed day of official engagements Nov 8, he is scheduled to leave for Jakarta Nov 9 for the onward trip to Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.(IANS)