Obama, Singh praise U.S.-India ties

Nov. 24, 2009 at 2:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The already strong U.S.-India ties will be strengthened by commitments made Tuesday between the countries' leaders, U.S. President Barack Obama said.

"My administration's commitment is seen in new strategic dialogue," Obama said during a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "I consider (Singh) a wise, honest and trustworthy leader."

Both leaders restated their commitments to economic strategies that would improve job opportunities in India and the United States, as well as cultural, educational and health exchanges.

They also pledged to work on climate change initiatives ahead of December's U.N.-sponsored climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"President Obama and I have agreed on the need for a substantive and comprehensive outcome, which would cover mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology," Singh said.

Obama said U.S. and Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies would work together against transnational threats.

"I welcomed the prime minister's support for the non-proliferation agenda that I laid out in Prague, and I look forward to India's participation in our nuclear security summit next year, as well as India's participation as a full partner in our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said. "Part of that vision is working together to ensure that all nations, including Iran and North Korea, live up to their international obligations."

Singh also spoke of implementing the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement reached with former President George W. Bush.

"The lifting of U.S. export controls on high technology exports to India will open vast opportunities for giant research and development efforts," Singh said.

Obama said he thought the relationship between the United States and India "has never been stronger -- a reminder that it will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century."

The president and first lady Michelle Obama host their first state dinner Tuesday in honor of Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.

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