India is key actor on world stage, extraordinarily important to US: Obama

New Delhi, Nov.8 (ANI): Visiting US President Barack Obama on Monday described India as a key actor on the world stage, and a country that has already emerged as a world power.

Stating that this was view shared by both Republicans and Democrats back home, President Obama told ANI at a joint press conference that he addressed at Hyderabad House with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here, that as far as he was concerned, the relationship between the United States and India was "extraordinarily important for me."

"First of all, this relationship is extraordinarily important to me, and don't just take my word for that, I think, look at our actions," Obama said.

He further went on to say: "Obviously, this trip has been of enormous significance. It is no accident that this is the largest time that I have spent in a country since I have been president, and both the prime minister and I have alluded, so this is why I think this partnership can be so important."

Describing India and the United States as the world's two largest democracies, Obama said: "We have both a set of values and principles that we share, that I believe are universal, the belief of/ in individual liberty, freedom of the press and freedom of political assembly, in human rights."

He further said that both countries have large market economies, and therefore, in that context, the nurturing of the bilateral commercial and strategic partnership was and would continue to remain important to the leadership of the two nations.

"We both have large market economies and the person-to-person contacts between India and the United States are unparallel. We have millions of Indian Americans who are helping to grow our country each and every day," said Obama.

"And we have hundreds of thousands of students from India who are studying in the United States, and bringing back what they have learnt to help develop India," he added.

He said: "And, so, on the commercial level, person-to-person level, on a strategic level, I think this partnership is incredibly important."

He said that apart from him, his predecessors - Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - each has emphasized why the relationship with India is important, were and are committed to nurturing this relationship.

He said that the business leaders who had accompanied him on this visit to India are working actively in the private sector "to strengthen those ties".

"We want to make sure that our governments are acting in the same constructive way. If we do so, then I think that is not only going to benefit India and the United States, but I think, it will ultimately benefit the world as well," said Obama. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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