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Cheney on India

Speaking at the U.S.-India Business Council meeting in Washington, Vice President Dick Cheney said that there is a new strategic partnership between the United States and India:

"A partnership based on democratic values, common interests, strong commercial ties and a climate of trust and good faith between our governments."

Mr. Cheney says, "In six decades of independence, the people of India have erased any doubt that a multiethnic society can thrive under self-rule":

"If you consider that the religious majority is Hindu, the largest political party is led by a Christian [Sonia Ghandi] the president [Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam] is Muslim, and the prime minister [Manmohan Singh] is Sikh, it becomes very clear that the decisive factor is not anyone's heritage, but everyone's devotion to certain ideals. India's political system ensures the broadest possible participation. And the political system respects diversity and assures legitimate means of dissent."

Mr. Cheney says "India shows the world that the best hope for harmony and success in a pluralistic country is individual liberty, equality, and democracy." And both the U.S. and India, he says, "are determined to confront and defeat the global terror network":

"The United States experienced multiple terrorist attacks during the [nineteen] eighties and [nineteen] nineties, culminating in nine-eleven. Similarly, India has suffered through acts of terror, including the attack on its parliament in 2002, the October 2005 bombing in New Delhi that targeted innocent civilians preparing for holiday celebrations, and the bombings earlier this year in Varanasi."

Indian Prime Minister Singh said, "We must fight terrorism wherever it exists, because terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere." Vice President Cheney says the U.S. "is proud to stand with such a strong partner."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.