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Less than a week prior to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official visit to Washington, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns summed up the importance of a working partnership between the U.S. and India: "Few relationships will matter more to the course of human events in the 21st century than the partnership between India and the United States.”
Administration officials have said it is no co-incidence that Prime Minister Singh is President Obama's first official state visit. It reflects the great respect and friendship the people of the United States feel for India and its people. "But above all," said President Obama to Prime Minister Singh during the official Welcoming Ceremony on November 24th, "your visit, at this pivotal moment in history, speaks to the opportunity before us -- to build the relationship between our nations, born in the last century, into one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century."
India is indispensable as we work to build that future, said President Obama:
"As leading economies, the United States and India can strengthen the global economic recovery, promote trade that creates jobs for both our people, and pursue growth that is balanced and sustained.
"As nuclear powers, we can be full partners in preventing the spread of the world's most deadly weapons, securing loose nuclear materials from terrorists, and pursuing our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons.
"As people who've known the pain and anguish of terrorism, we can stand together -- cooperating to prevent future attacks, and promote the development and prosperity that undermines violent extremism."
Our two countries can be partners in developing clean energy, addressing climate change, and reducing hunger and poverty.
"As the world's largest democracies, we can keep faith with our common values -- speaking out and standing up for the rights and dignity to which all human beings are entitled; and showing that nations that respect the rights and aspirations of their people are ultimately more stable, more secure and more successful."
"This is the India that America welcomes today -- a leader in Asia and around the world," said President Obama. "These are the challenges we are summoned to meet in partnership. This is the progress that is possible -- today and in the days and years ahead."