(NBC News) – This morning President Obama is in India, meeting lawmakers and talking about how our two countries can work together more closely.
The trip is largely symbolic, but holds the promise of opening doors for American business.
President and Mrs. Obama were greeted by tens of thousands at India’s Republic Day Parade – marking the day India became a democracy.
Mr. Obama is the honored guest, on day two of his three day trip. India’s Prime Minister is rolling out the red carpet. “What he’s saying is that he wants this relationship to go to the next level,” said White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.
“Our relationship stands at a new level today,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s cultural flair was on full display at last night’s state dinner. “To the great partnership between our nations and the friendship between our peoples,” said President Obama.
Today, Mr. Obama meets Indian lawmakers.
There have been serious discussions about climate change – India has some of the world’s most polluted cities about terror and trade.
The white house brought in American CEOs for a round table and business summit later today. “In the last few years, trade between our two countries increased by some 60 percent toward a record $100 billion. We want to trade even more,” said President Obama
There were protests ahead of the President’s visit, so security is tight.
40,000 officers are in place, plus extra security near the border with Pakistan.
President Obama is cutting his trip to India short to make a stop in Saudi Arabia to pay respects to King Abdullah, who died last week.