|HOME | NEWS | THE VAJPAYEE VISIT | REPORT|
September 17, 2000
Vajpayee trip, a 'great success:' Clinton
Savera R Someshwar in Washington DC
In a brief interaction with the media at the dedication of the Mahatma Gandhi memorial on Massachusetts Avenue, US President Bill Clinton described Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit as "a great success. It sort of rounds out our efforts to take a different turn in our relationships, to deepen and broaden them."
When questioned about the future of the Indo-US alliance in concrete terms, the president said he looked forward to a future where India and the US would be better economic and political partners. He also hoped the two nations would work together through the United Nations and other international fora to help turn back what could otherwise be a dangerous tide of proliferation of dangerous nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
"I hope," said Clinton, "some day that there will be some constructive role we could play as a partner in working with India and others to bring peace on the subcontinent... I think it is important that we continue to go forward together."
He professed himself a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and revealed he had actually begun reading about Gandhi when he was a teenager. "When I was a boy, actually, I was a profound admirer of Martin Luther King, and I began to read all his writings. And when I read that he was so influenced by Gandhi, then I began to read about Gandhi. I was, I don't know, 17, 18 or something like that."
He expressed the hope that the progress achieved in Indo-US relations would go beyond his term in office, into a whole new era of partnership between India and the United States. Once again, he thanked the prime minister and the people of India for the wonderful and warm reception he had been given during his visit to the country in March. He said that, after the end of his presidency, he would like to visit India regularly.
Clinton said probably no country outside India had been more enriched by Indians than the United States. He said he would be quite surprised if the present Congress did not increase the number of H1B visas. The issue, he said, was just that of the quantity of the increase. However, he expressed the hope that the occasion of increasing the quotas would be used to get more funds from the companies are hiring these people. He wanted these extra funds to be used to train US citizens who could then do the same job.
When asked if India and the US would be strategic allies, the president smiled and said, "We have done enough talking today. If you want to ask the prime minister a question…"
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK