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Obama to visit India in January

President Barack Obama will travel to India in January at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House said.

Obama will participate in the Indian Republic Day celebration in New Delhi as the Chief Guest, his visit marking the first time a U.S. president will have the honor of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India’s constitution, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. Obama also will meet with Modi and other Indian officials “to strengthen and expand the U.S.-India strategic partnership,” Earnest said.

House Foreign Affairs chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., called the trip a “very welcome development.

“Frankly, this has been a relationship that unfortunately has struggled to find its footing in the last several years,” Royce said, calling the visit “another important step in getting this relationship back on track.”

Modi visited the White House in September in a bid to repair the faltering relationship. After their meeting, Obama joined Modi on his planned visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. At the time, Modi noted he looked forward to “receiving President Obama and his family in India at a convenient time.”

Obama last visited India in 2010, at one point winning accolades among Indians for at least trying out his moves with folk dance performers at a Mumbai high school.

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