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President, Indian Prime Minister Lay Out Initiatives to Strengthen Relationship

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2005 – The U.S. and India are completing the next steps in their strategic partnership, strengthening cooperation in the areas of defense, civil nuclear, civil space and high technology commerce, President Bush said after meeting with the Indian prime minister today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
President Bush reviews an honor guard with India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on July 18 on the South Lawn of the White House during Singh's official arrival ceremony. Photo by Eric Draper

(Click photo for screen-resolution image)

Bush met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House to discuss a broad range of issues concerning the U.S.-India relationship.

"India and the United States share a commitment to freedom and a belief that democracy provides the best path to a more hopeful future for all people," Bush said. "We also believe that the spread of liberty is the best alternative to hatred and violence. Because of our shared values, the relationship between our two countries has never been stronger.

"We're working together to make our nations more secure, deliver a better life to our citizens and advance the cause of peace and freedom throughout the world," the president added.

The meeting today solidified new steps the U.S. and India will be taking toward common security objectives, Bush said. The two countries will work together on counterterrorism, he said, to help make the world a safer place.

The president also announced a disaster response initiative, saying both nations have an interest in bettering lives around the world. Indian and the U.S. were among nations responding to the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated South Asia in December 2004.

Both leaders expressed optimism about the future and the developing relationship between the two countries.

"Our partnership is one between rigorous and vibrant democracies, and we have agreed today to give expression to our shared values in a variety of ways," Singh said.

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