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India is now a world power, says Obama

Last updated on: November 8, 2010 11:48 IST

India is now a world power, says Obama

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United States President Barack Obama on Monday said India is now a world power and the two countries can work together on issues like counter-terrorism to promote peace, stability and prosperity for the whole world.

Obama said he has undertaken the trip to India to strengthen "what is already an incredible friendship and would be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, to build on commercial ties and strengthen cooperation in bilateral relations and international economy."

Obama was talking to reporters after a ceremonial reception given to him at the forecourt of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan, formally kick starting his official visit.

Text: Onkar Singh in Delhi


Image: -U.S. President Barack Obama inspects an honour guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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'We will be able to build on commercial ties'

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"My hope is that during these discussions between myself and prime minister, myself and President and other members of the Indian delegation, we will be able to build on the commercial ties that we already have, strengthen cooperation in bilateral relations and international economy," said Obama. 

He said that the two countries would be able to focus on issues like counter-terrorism in order to ensure that both the US and India are secure well into the future.


Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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'US and India can work together'

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"Given that India is not simply an emerging power but now it is a world power, US and India can work together to promote international principles, rules and relations between nations. We can promote peace, stability, prosperity not only for just two nations but for the whole world," he said.

Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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'India, US share extraordinary people-to-people contact'

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Obama said that US and India as two largest democracies share 'extraordinary' people-to-people contact and more importantly share the same set of core values. He said during the visit, he would be able to continue to build on the commercial ties that the two countries already have and strengthen cooperation in bilateral relations and international economy.

Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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'Warmest regards from the people of America'

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He also referred to the contributions made by millions of Indian Americans and said they have helped Americans appreciate the Indian life. Obama said he and his wife Michelle wanted to thank the people of India for the wonderful hospitality and reception given to them. He also conveyed the warmest regards from the people of America.

Earlier, Obama and his wife Michelle arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in a Cadillac, escorted by horse-mounted personnel of the Presidential bodyguards amidst a 21 gun salute.

He was received by President Pratibha Patil, her husband Devisingh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur. They were introduced to cabinet ministers, three defence services chiefs, officials and members of the diplomatic corps. Later, the national anthems of the US and India were played and Obama inspected a tri-service guard of honour.


Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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'Shall I shake hands with Mr Singh again'

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The dignitaries also posed for photographs. Soon after, he drove down to Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, to pay his respects to the Father of the Nation.

After Obama shook hands with Dr Singh and President Patil, he asked the waiting photographers smilingly, "Shall I shake hands with Mr Singh again"?


Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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