Obama visit will reflect Diwali spirit: envoy


New Delhi : President Barack Obama’s visit “will reflect the spirit of Diwali as it symbolizes the warm, close and strong shared values between the US and India”, the American ambassador said Thursday.

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“I already sense that the people of India will welcome him with the incredible warmth, grace and goodwill I have seen in this great nation,” Timothy J. Roemer said greeting Indians on the occasion of Diwali.

The US envoy said in a statement that he could “experience the excitement in the air for the Diwali holiday.

“This is a very special time of year to be in India.

“This Diwali holiday will have an added element of excitement as we will be celebrating it with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.”

He pointed out that Obama became the first US president to preside over a Diwali celebration at the White House.

“(Obama) also welcomed Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh to the White House for his first official state dinner last November.

“This year, President Obama will celebrate the ties between our countries by travelling to India for his first official visit.”

“Diwali is a time for eating sweets and lighting diya lamps, and enjoying time with family and friends.

“As the President’s representative in India, I offer our best wishes to the people of India for a festive and safe Diwali holiday.”

Obama will be in Mumbai and New Delhi Nov 6-9, then leave for Indonesia.