India can be among closest US partners: Bush



Washington: As President Barack Obama left New Delhi at the end of his maiden visit to the country during which he identified India as an indispensable partner, his predecessor George W Bush said he believes that India has the potential to be one of the closet partners of the US.

"I believe India, home to roughly a billion people and an educated middle class, has the potential to be one of America's closet partners," Bush wrote in his book 'Decision Points' which hit the stands within hours of Obama leaving New Delhi for Indonesia.

Bush, who took the Indo-US relationship to a new level and ended India's nuclear apartheid by signing the civilian nuclear agreement with it, said the deal was the "culmination of our efforts" to improve relations between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy.

"The nuclear agreement was a historic step because it signalled the country's new role on the world stage," he said, adding the nuclear deal naturally raised concerns in Pakistan.

Bush said he started writing this book, the day he left office.

However, he acknowledges that he has not written much about the civilian nuclear deal, one of his key foreign policy accomplishments.

"I do not fully cover foreign policy accomplishments such as the historic civil nuclear agreement with India or the Merida Initiatives to fight drugs with Mexico," he wrote in his 501-page book.

PTI