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Obama saves best for the last; woos and wins India
Published on 9 Nov. 2010 12:32 AM IST
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India and the United States Monday pledged to work together to deny terrorists “safe havens” in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region as Washington agreed to ease high-tech exports and backed a bigger role for New Delhi in global affairs.
The two nations also resolved to deepen counter-terror cooperation and announced a slew of initiatives in areas ranging from clean energy to health in what both President Barack obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called a “defining partnership of the 21st century”.
Expressing ‘bahut dhanyavaad’ to the people of India for their warm reception, US President Barack Obama announced his country’s support to India for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council but added that it will come with conditions like speaking out against Myanmar and imposing sanctions on Iran.
He accused the Myanmar junta of stealing the weekend election in the military-ruled country, sharpening his earlier criticism of the vote.
Citing Myanmar as an example of a country where a “bankrupt regime” imprisoned opponents and gunned down protesters, he said it was incumbent on all democracies to condemn repressive regimes.
“If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often shied away from these issues,” he said.
“US welcomes India as it prepares to take its seat at the UN Security Council. I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” he declared to deafening applause, reminding that US had already lent its support to India at G20, Copenhagen Climate Summit etc.
Reacting almost within minutes of US President Barack Obama’s address to the Indian parliament, Pakistan said Monday US support to India’s bid for the permanent seat at the UN Security Council will “complicate” the council’s reforms process and hoped Washington would not take a view based on “temporary exigencies of power politics”.
However, he added, that with increased power came increased responsibility. “US recognises every nation’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy but they also have international obligations. This applies to Iran also,” he said. On the issue of Pakistan, he urged an end of terror against India. “The safe havens to terrorists in Pakistan are unacceptable. The perpetrators of Mumbai attacks should be brought to justice,” he said. “Please accept my deepest thanks...bahut dhanyawad,” Obama said in his opening remarks.
“I bring the greetings of from the people of the world’s greatest democracy, the USA. I thank you for the honour of letting me address the Parliament of one billion Indians. Over last three days my wife Michelle and I have experienced the beauty and dynamism of the people of India,” he said, beginning his speech to repeated applause. Taking forward his tone that India had already risen, Obama said it was not an accident that his India-stay was the longest ever in his career. “I am proud to visit India so early in my presidency,” he said.
“As G-20 partners, we can make sure the global economic recovery is a strong and durable recovery,” he said. In his address to Members of Parliament, Obama said: “Together, we can resist the protectionism that stifles growth and innovation. The US remains - and will continue to remain - one of the most open economies in the world.”
Seeking reciprocity to break trade and investment barriers, Obama said: “By opening markets and reducing barriers to foreign investment, India can realise its full economic potential as well.”
The US President said expressed his support to India’s development, saying US will not merely cheer on from the sidelines but help India achieve it all. Obama ended on a high note as he said “Jai Hind!” and the entire hall stood up in a thunderous response.
Full attendance of MPs – for the first time
Obama addressed the two Houses of Parliament`s joint sitting in the Central Hall of Parliament House, which has been given a new look.
Obama read from a teleprompter brought in from the US which made its debut in the Parliament.
Learning from the embarrassing behaviour displayed by the Indian Members of the Parliament (MPs) during former US President George W Bush visit, the Parliament Affairs ministry had strictly advised the Parliamentarians to behave themselves.
Monday is the last day of Obama’s visit to India on his 10-day long Asia tour.
Man poses as IPS officer to meet Obama, arrested
MUZAFFARNAGAR, Nov 8 (PTI): A college student, who allegedly impersonated an IPS officer to meet US President Barack Obama, has been arrested, police said on Monday.
Dalip Kumar, a BSc student, allegedly posed as an IPS officer and reached the residence of the District Magistrate yesterday, police said.
Kumar then asked for a VIP car to go to Delhi to meet Obama, they said.
The youth was later handed over to police by the officials present at the DM’s residence, they said.

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