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Prime Minister Singh hosts lunch for Bush

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 2: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Mar 2, 2006) lauded US President George Bush for the "firm stand" that he had taken against the upsurge of protectionist forces in his country and the farsighted approach he had adopted on the issue of outsourcing.

"In taking this stand you have not only cemented closer relations between our two countries but also helped America retain its edge in the global market,"he said at a Lunch hosted in honour of visiting US President at the hotel "Taj Mahal." Dr Singh said India and the United States must work together in all possible forums, seeking a world free of poverty, ignorance, disease and the threat of terrorism.

"We must fight terrorism wherever it exists, because terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere." He said India sought a neighbourhood of peace and prosperity.

Describing the sub-continent as a "powerhouse of human creativity," Dr Singh said the South Asians could transform, with wisdom and farsightedness, not just this region but the whole world.

"In our journey of modernisation and development, social change and empowerment, we see the United States as a partner, a friend and a well-wisher," he said in this context.

Turning to Mr Bush, Dr Singh said "we see you as a true friend of India. I have always been touched by your warm praise for India and the Indian people." He acknowledged the deep personal commitment of Mr Bush to a closer economic and strategic partnership between the two countries, and said he was touched by his admiration for Indian democracy and India's commitment to pluralism and modernism.

Besides, Mr Bush and his wife Laura Bush, the luncheon was attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, among others.


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