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Thank you Modi & India, tweets Obama as he takes off

January 27, 2015 15:56 IST

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama fold their hands in a namaste greeting from the steps of Air Force One upon their departure at the airport in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters 

US President Barack Obama left for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, wrapping up his three-day visit in New Delhi during which both the countries broke a seven-year logjam to operationalise a landmark civil nuclear deal, besides enhancing defence and trade ties.

Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, folded his hands in a traditional namaste and waved before boarding Air Force One at the Palam airport where Union Minister Piyush Goyal and, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, were among those present.

"Thank you @Narendra Modi for a memorable visit and to the Indian people for their warm welcome,” the president tweeted. 

Modi responded within minutes, "Farewell! Your visit has taken India-USA ties to a new level & opened a new chapter. Wish you a safe journey." He also tweeted, "As for the rainy day yesterday, as you yourself said today morning, Bade Bade Deshon Mein... :)

Earlier in the day, Obama used dialogue from superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s hit Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge during his town hall speech leaving the audience delighted. “Senorita, bade bade deshon mein...you know what I mean..,” he said during the speech where he spoke about religious tolerance, women’s equality, racial discrimination and Indo-US friendship.  

Obama and the US first lady had planned a visit to the Taj Mahal but cancelled their trip to the world heritage site and instead decided to visit Saudi Arabia to pay condolences to the royal family following death of King Abdullah.

In his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, both the leaders managed to remove the hurdles to operationalise the civil nuclear deal besides deciding to jointly produce military hardware and stepping up economic engagement.

In what Obama called a "breakthrough", the two sides resolved key hurdles pertaining to the liability of suppliers of nuclear reactors in the event of an accident and the tracking of fuel supplied by the US.

Obama became the first US president to grace the Republic Day celebrations. He is also the first American president to visit India twice.

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