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PM's speech during welcome ceremony: Full text

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan 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.

delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2009 23:13 IST

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan 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.

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.

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.

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.