According to the sources, the US Secret Service does not consider Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's state car secure enough in comparison to Obama's presidential limousine.
The Secret Service proposed that each leader ride separately in their own state vehicles, the source, wishing to remain anonymous due to security reasons, told Sputnik. Another option is to seat Mukherjee in Obama's motorcade when both dignitaries arrive for the Republic Day function later this month.
However, Indian security officials find the proposal in breach of protocol.
The presidential limousine's 5-inch (12.7 cm) armor is capable of withstanding a bomb attack or even chemical and germ warfare and is considered by the Secret Service a safer state vehicle. According to former US Chief of Protocol Donald Ensenat, the presidential limousine is usually airlifted to overseas locations "where secure transportation is needed."
Obama is scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebration in India on January 26 as the chief guest. During his visit, the US president will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials to strengthen and expand US-Indian strategic partnership in areas including defense, economy, civil nuclear cooperation and climate change.