Obama heads for India, hoping to use personal bond with Modi to improve nations' ties

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

In a show of solidarity, President Barack Obama is flying to India this weekend to be guest of honor at the country's Republic Day festivities.

Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi are trying to move the world's two largest democracies past tensions that have beset their relationship in recent years.

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Obama and Modi met in Washington for the first time late last year and swapped stories about their political campaigns, particularly how they each employed tech-savvy tactics to attract new voters.

Obama will be the first U.S. president to visit India twice while in office; he also traveled there in 2010 for an economic summit.