US very keen to take strategic, global relationship with India forward

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Sapporo (Japan), July 9: The United States is very keen to take its strategic relationship with India forward, said President George W Bush after his 40-minute meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here this morning.

A statement issued jointly by both sides said: "Prime Minister Singh and Bush had a typical conversation among friends. They talked about common opportunities, world problems. Bush said I respect the Prime Minister a lot and also respect India a lot, and I think it's very important that the United States continues to work with our friends to develop not only a new strategic relationship, but a relationship that addresses some of the world's problems."

The statement further said that both leaders talked about the India-U.S. nuclear deal, and how important that is "for our respective countries." They talked about the environment and how we can work together to grow our economies and, at the same time, be responsible stewards of the environment. Both leaders talked about free trade, the Doha Round, and how important it is that nations such as India and the United States find common ground to make sure protectionist sentiments don't wall us off from the rest of the world.

Bush and Singh also talked about educational exchanges. Bus h reminded the Prime Minister that the Indian American population is very proud of this relationship, and proud of their heritage, and proud of the leadership of the Prime Minister.

Bush congratulated Prime Minister on his leadership at home

Singh said: "It is a great opportunity for me to once again meet you . And, I'm very happy to report to the President that our relations have moved forward handsomely since our first meeting in July 2005. We have made progress in all areas. We have progress in nuclear cooperation, space cooperation, defense cooperation, educational exchanges, our working together in multilateral institutions for the success of the Doha Round. And I am very pleased with the state of our relationship, which has truly acquired the characteristic of a genuine strategic partnership."

Singh thanked Bush for his "personal magnificent contribution to the evolution of India -USA relationship".

ANI

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