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Bush sees India as strategic partner: Mulford

November 04, 2004 18:29 IST

The Indo-US strategic cooperation as well as relations in other fields will blossom with the re-election of President George W Bush to the White House, US Ambassador David C Mulford said in Mumbai on Thursday.

President Bush considers India a key strategic partner, he said, adding "the best is yet to come" in the relations between the two countries.

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Mulford was in Mumbai to attend a meeting organised by the International Institute of Finance, in which he was the keynote speaker.

The ambassador said Bush has expressed his interest to visit India.

On sanctions imposed by the US on India in the wake of Pokhran-II nuclear tests, he said: "US does not have sanctions. The Indian government is an able manager in the case of nuclear issues -- in terms of non-proliferation."

Commenting on the Indo-US strategic partnership, the US ambassador said: "We have already completed the first phase of strategic cooperation with India in civilian space and military areas, including high-tech commerce, missile and other defence technologies." The cooperation is in a phased manner and is being carried out without violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations, he said.

On sanctions imposed by the US on two Indian scientists, Mulford said these were "minor irritants" and "we should not allow them to cause problem between the two countries."

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