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The George Bush interview!
February 24, 2006 14:07 IST
President of the United States George Bush, who is beginning a landmark visit to India -- the last Republican President to visit was Richard Nixon in 1969 -- starting March 1, spoke to Indian journalists in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 22.
On Kashmir, President Bush told the journalists, America supports a solution that is acceptable to all sides, "to the Indians, Paks as well as the citizens of Kashmir".
On terrorism, he said, "The US has been attacked, but India certainly understands what it means to have suffering as a result of terrorist activities. And so there's common interests that have helped to change the relationship. And I intend to seize those interests, as does the Prime Minister, in order to foster what we've called a strategic relationship."
About backing India's candidature as permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, President Bush said, "First, we support a UN Security Council reform, but we think it ought to happen after other institutions within the United Nations become reformed. What I was always worried about is that we would focus on the U.N. Security Council and nothing else would happen. And so we have -- we have said to all parties concerned, I fully understand the Indian position, just like other nations, that we will take your case under consideration, but first things first."
During the course of the interview, it transpired that the President was a "cricket match person", and the term 'Bollywood' intrigued him enough to ask what it meant.
And while there was disappointment at giving the miss to the Taj Mahal, especially since he will be accompanied by First Lady Laura Bush, the President said it only meant he will have to come back.