November 07, 2010

“The Taj has been a symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people”

United States President Barack Obama is on a 10-day tour of Asia with his first halt in India, to nurture and strengthen the special relationship the US has with India. The First Lady and President Obama stayed at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai where he paid respect to the victims of 26/11 and expressed solidarity.

In a commemorative speech overlooking the Gateway of India from The Taj Mahal Palace terrace, President Obama paid tribute to the city of Mumbai and the Taj. Mr Obama is spending three valuable days in India, the longest amount of time he has spent in any foreign country as president.

Mr Obama noted, “...our decision to begin our visit here in this dynamic city, at this historic hotel… To those who have asked whether this is intended to send a message, my answer is simply, absolutely! ... Mumbai is a symbol of the incredible energy and optimism that defines India in the 21st century ... the Taj has been the symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people.”

“We are touched by this heartfelt tribute and deeply honored and grateful to him for choosing to stay at The Taj Mahal Palace on his inaugural visit to India”, said Raymond Bickson, managing director and CEO, Indian Hotels.

President Obama expressed similar sentiments in the hotel guest book, writing that the United States “stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism, and we affirm our lasting friendship with the Indian people.”

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, stands restored and resplendent, a reflection of the spirit of its people.