US President Barack Obama today said India was now a world power and the two countries can work together on issues like counter-terrorism to promote peace, stability and prosperity for the whole world.
He said the has undertaken the trip to India to strengthen what is already an incredible friendship that would be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century, to build on commercial ties and strengthen cooperation in bilateral relations and international economy.
Obama was talking to reporters after a ceremonial reception given to him at the forecourt of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan formally kick starting his official visit.
"My hope is that during these discussions between myself and Prime Minister, myself and President and other members of the Indian delegation, we will be able to build on the commercial ties that we already have, to strengthen cooperation in bilateral relations and international economy.
He said that the two countries would be able to focus on issues like counter-terrorism in order to ensure that both the US and India are secure well into the future.
"Given that India is not simply an emerging power but now it is a world power, US and India can work together to promote international principles, rules, relations between nations they can promote peace, stability, prosperity not only for just two nations but for the whole world," he said.
Earlier, Obama and his wife Michelle arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a Cadillac, escorted by horse-mounted personnel of the Presidential bodyguards amidst a 21 gun salute.
He was received by President Pratibha Patil, her husband Devisingh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.
They were introduced to cabinet ministers, three services chiefs officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
Later, the national anthems of the US and India were played and Obama inspected a tri-service guard of honour.
The dignitaries also posed for photographs.
Soon after, he drove down to Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi to pay his respects to the Father of the Nation.