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It's an honour to be here, says Bush
March 02, 2006 10:37 IST
Here to clinch a crucial nuclear deal, US President George W Bush today said he was looking foward to fostering "a very important relationship" with India but parried questions on a possible deal.
"I am looking forward to working with the President and the Prime Minister to foster a very important relationship," Bush said after he was accorded a grand ceremonial welcome in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning, which marked the formal start of his visit.
Asked how confident he was about clinching a nuclear deal, he said, "We have a press conference later on."
Obviously impressed by the red carpet welcome and the ceremonial guard of honour by the armed forces which he had inspected moments earlier, Bush said, "It is an honour to be here. I have never been to India before. I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time.
"I must say that I have been received in many capitals of the world. I have never seen a reception as well organised and as grand as the reception we just received. Coming up to this majestic building was breath-taking and the horses that led us in added great elegance to the welcoming ceremony," he said, thanking President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh profusely for the visit and the grand reception.
He also had a word of praise for the weather, saying it was "beautiful".