President Obama Welcomes Prime Minister Singh of India

Uploaded by whitehouse on 24.11.2009

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­ ­ ­ ­ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¼ $ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¼ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ÿÿÿÿ Speaker:
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States accompanied by His Excellency,
the Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
Speaker: Ladies and gentlemen, the National Anthem of the Republic of India, followed
by the National Anthem of the United States of America.
President Obama: Prime Minister Singh, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, members of the Indian delegation
-- on behalf of Michelle and myself, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to the White
House. On behalf of the American people, it is my great honor to welcome you to the United
States. Mr. Prime Minister, yours is the first official state visit of my presidency, and
it is fitting that you and India be so recognized. (Applause.) This visit reflects the high esteem
in which I and the American people hold your wise leadership. It reflects the abiding bonds
of respect and friendship between our people, including our friends in the Indian American
community who join us here today. But above all, 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.
For while our two nations have taken different paths to reach this moment, ours is a common
story. It's the story of two proud people who struggled to break free from an empire
and declare their independence. Two bold experiments in democracy with constitutions that begin
with the same simple words: "We the people." Two great republics dedicated to the ideals
of liberty, justice, equality, and the never-ending work of perfecting their union. It's the story
of two economic marvels fueled by an ethic of hard work and innovation. And today, our
nations are two global leaders, driven not to dominate other nations but to build a future
of security and prosperity for all nations. Mr. Prime Minister, as we work to build that
future, India is indispensable. 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.
As India becomes an increasingly influential global power, we can partner to meet other
transnational challenges: developing clean energy partnerships, confronting climate change,
stopping infectious disease, reducing hunger and working to end extreme poverty in our
time. And 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. (Applause.) 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. And, Mr. Prime Minister, as we build our common future,
we can draw strength from our shared past. For it was exactly 60 years ago, in a ceremony
not unlike this, that an American president welcomed to the White House the first prime
minister of an independent India. And while the decades that followed were not without
their challenges, the spirit of that first visit is with us today -- the same sense of
possibility, the same hope for the future. So as President Truman said of President Nehru,
it is my privilege to welcome "the respected leader of a great nation of free people."
And as Prime Minister Nehru said of the work before them, may our two great nations "find
many ways of working together in friendly and fruitful cooperation to our mutual advantage,
and for the good of humanity." Mr. Prime Minister, Mrs. Kaur, in that spirit, I welcome you to
the United States of America. (Applause.)
Prime Minister Singh: Mr. President, First Lady Mrs. Obama, thank you very much for your
warm words of welcome, Mr. President. My wife and I are deeply honored to be in your great
country on the first state visit of your presidency. (Applause.) Mr. President, I bring to you
and the people of the United States of America the friendly greetings of our one billion
people of India. (Applause.) India and America are separated by distance, but bound together
by the values of democracy, pluralism, rule of law, and respect for fundamental human
freedoms. Over the years, we have built upon these values and created a partnership that
is based upon both principle and pragmatism. Our relations have been transformed, and today
they encompass cooperation in all areas of human activity. Mr. President, I've come today
to build upon these successes and to strengthen our multifaceted relationship. We seek to
broaden and deepen our strategic partnership, and to work with the United States to meet
these challenges of a fast-changing world in this 21st century. (Applause.) This is
a moment of great opportunity in our relationship. India and the United States can, and must,
work together to harness the immense potential of our talented and enterprising people, and
support each other's growth and prosperity. We should cooperate in addressing global challenges
of combating terrorism, making our environment cleaner and moving towards a world free of
nuclear weapons. (Applause.) Mr. President, we deeply appreciate your strong personal
commitment to our bilateral relationship. My wife and I are deeply grateful to you and
the First Lady for receiving us during this Thanksgiving week. With these words, I once
again thank you, Mr. President. God bless America. God bless India. (Applause.)
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