India placed high on Obama''s foreign policy agenda

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 27 (PTI) The steps taken by US PresidentBarack Obama during the first two years of his presidencyshows that India is placed high on his administration''sforeign policy agenda.

"It is quite evident that India''s place is extremely high(in Obama''s foreign policy), because there is a recognition ofemergence of India at the world''s stage � it is the world''slargest democracy, the incredible work that has been done toadvance the economic situation of Indians'' and there is lot ofintellectual strength in innovation that is something is veryappealing to the United States," the outgoing NationalSecurity Council spokesman, Mike Hammer told PTI in aninterview.

Spokesperson of the National Security Council, WhiteHouse, for the past two years, Hammer now moves to the StateDepartment.

"We have a very vibrant Indian-American community thatcontributes to our society and we recognize that. ThePresident is trying to do and I would argue that what he hasdone so successfully is to develop India in terms of how wethe United States interact with this partner," Hammer said.

"This is something, he did not start, we give credit tofirst President (Bill) Clinton and then President (George)Bush and now President Obama, who have all seen India''s riseand trajectory in India''s rise as an important global player.

And we want to deepen that relationship," he said, addingthat the two countries now have a strategic partnership.

Hammer had travelled with the President to India and likethe entire delegation was highly impressed by the vibrant andactive press.

"I had the great privilege of travelling with thePresident to India for his visit there and it was remarkableto see the energy and excitement not only of the people but atthe different fora that we attended.

Whether it was the business forum, watching the Presidentand the First Lady interact with the children, Diwalicelebrations, whether it was speech at the Parliament, it wasreally special" he said.

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