Prez sees global role for India

Prez sees global role for India

Two countries indispensable partners

Heaping praise on India both during his address to Parliament as well as at a press conference earlier, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alongside, Obama pointed out that India was “indispensable to the future that the US seeks in an interconnected world”.

He told the MPs that he was cementing the ties that his two predecessors — a Democrat and a Republican — had built. He said he wanted India and the US to forge a truly global partnership across many areas.

“A central pillar of this engagement is forging deeper cooperation with 21st century centres of influence, and that includes India. This is why I believe that India and America are indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of our time”.

Noting that he was proud to visit India so early in his presidency (his two predecessors did so in their second terms), Obama said it was no coincidence that India was his first stop on a visit to Asia, or that this had been his longest visit abroad since becoming president. Thus, he underlined the importance he attached to this visit at a personal level.

Shared interests

Punctuating his 45-minute, nearly 3,700-word speech at Central Hall extensively quoting Gandhiji and making references to Ambedkar, Vivekananda and even Panchatantra, Obama remarked: “I stand before you today because I am convinced that the interests of the United States and the interests we share with India are best advanced in partnership”.

Referring to India as a country that is “not simply emerging but has already emerged”, he said “India not only opened our minds, she expanded our moral imagination”. As he made a pointed reference to India’s contribution to the world with zero, he averred:

“Indians unlocked the intricacies of the human body and the vastness of our universe. And it is no exaggeration to say that our information age is rooted in Indian innovations including the number zero”.

Obama said since taking over as president, he has made closer relationship between the two democracies a priority and added: “For the first time ever, our governments are working together across the whole range of common challenges we face. And let me say as clearly as I can: the US not only welcomes India as a rising global power, we fervently support it, and we have worked to help make it a reality”.

He added: “As you carry on with the hard work ahead, I want every Indian citizen to know: the United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines. We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder. Because we believe in the promise of India.  And we believe that the future is what we make it”.

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