India placed high on Obama`s foreign policy agenda

Last Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 09:27

Washington: The steps taken by US President Barack Obama during the first two years of his presidency shows that India is placed high on his administration`s
foreign policy agenda.

"It is quite evident that India`s place is extremely high (in Obama`s foreign policy), because there is a recognition of emergence of India at the world`s stage it is the world`s largest democracy, the incredible work that has been done to advance the economic situation of Indians` and there is lot of intellectual strength in innovation that is something is very appealing to the United States," the outgoing National
Security Council spokesman, Mike Hammer told a news agency in an interview.

Spokesperson of the National Security Council, White House, for the past two years, Hammer now moves to the State Department.

"We have a very vibrant Indian-American community that contributes to our society and we recognise that. The President is trying to do and I would argue that what he has done so successfully is to develop India in terms of how we the United States interact with this partner," Hammer said.

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

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

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

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

Whether it was the business forum, watching the President and the First Lady interact with the children, Diwali celebrations, whether it was speech at the Parliament, it was really special" he said.

"It shows that there is a real potential kinship between the Indian and the American people and both the nation that value education, the value of creative thinking and there is good synergy that could come of that," Hammer said.

Obama has developed a personal relationship with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is greatly admired by him, the NSC spokesperson said.

"It is a great relationship that has evolved with Prime Minister Singh, an individual that he admires and respects and that extends broadly to much of the US government as we had Cabinet level meetings and visits to India," he said.

"This is something that you would only see continue to grow in the remaining of the President Obama?s term," Hammer said.

"There is a commonality of values and interests that allows our two countries to work together. What we have seen in the last decade is an evolution of that, which I think is quite positive for both countries and really is limitless.

When you have these two powers working together to address global challenges, I think is something that is overtime to bring very tangible and real benefits," he said.

Hammer said Obama and the First Lady tremendously enjoyed their visit to India.

"It was special. I can’t at this point anticipate when he might want to go. I think, he would love to go again," he said.

"He got a very busy agenda in the next couple of years. He is in high demand around the world in terms of countries interested in receiving visits by him, but there is no question that all of us, who were on that trip, would love to
go again.

It is a remarkable country, with such a great country and history and food. It`s a great tourism destination as well," he said.

Noting that India deserves to have a set in the Security Council, he said the announcement in this regard by Obama is in recognition of how much it contributes to the world community.

I think, President`s announcement of US support was very indicative of the recognition that India is an emerging power, is an important player and a very significant peace keeper contributor to the United Nations," he said.

"Overall, the more that India involves in international issues, the better off we all are and that’s what we are looking for.

We are not looking for making alone, we are looking to partner with other nations, because we see that as the best way to address that global challenge and we do that on a number of fresh issues.

This is something that would continue to evolve and some of the issues would take more time than others," Hammer said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 09:27

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