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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US and India 'to work together'

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US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmoham Singh have said that the two countries have agreed to work more closely on combating world terrorism and on nuclear non-proliferation issues.

Mr Obama also said he hoped that India and Pakistan over the next few months could “find mechanisms” to work out long-standing differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Mr Singh announced that India will create new centres to deal with nuclear security and disease prevention, and Mr Obama reiterated moves by the United States to ease export controls affecting trade between the world’s two largest democracies.

On Kashmir, Mr Obama said the United States “cannot impose a solution.” But he said he has offered to help the two countries work out the problem, saying he believes both “have an interest in reducing tensions”.

Earlier, Mr Obama hailed the relationship between the US and India as a “defining partnership” of the 21st century during a grand ceremony marking his visit to the world’s largest democracy.

Mr Obama’s limousine was escorted to Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the palatial residence of India’s president, by guards on horseback.

Mr Obama greeted Indian dignitaries, then stood with his hand on his heart as the US national anthem was played.

The president spoke briefly during the ceremony, thanking the Indian people for their hospitality and saying he hoped his trip here would strengthen the friendship between the two nations.

Mr Obama said: “The partnership between the United States and India will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

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