Stating that he was determined to take bilateral ties to an entirely new level, US President Barack Obama on Sunday asserted that India-US relationship could be the anchor for security and prosperity in Asia and the world.
"I am here because I think that the partnership between India and US has limitless potential to improve lives of Indians and Americans. It has potential to be the anchor of security and prosperity and progress for Asia and the world," Obama said in his introductory remarks at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai.
Speaking about his India visit, Obama, dressed in black trousers and a white shirt with sleeves rolled half way up, said: "The common thread that runs through the different issues that the two countries cooperate on is my determination to take partnership (between the two countries) to an entirely new level."
He said the US did not consider India as an emerging power. "We believe that India has already risen," said Obama to a select gathering of students from various institutions.
"India is taking its rightful place in Asia and the global stage. We see India's emergence as good for US and good for the world," he added.
Obama expressed his "extraordinary amount of respect for the rich and diverse civilization that has thrived here for thousands of years". "We draw strength from India's struggle for freedom which helped inspire America's own civil rights movement," he added.
He again asserted that India-US relationship will be "indispensable in shaping the 21st century".
Paying his tribute to the 26/11 terror victims at the Taj hotel, Obama said he was struck by the resilience of the Indian people. "I saw firsthand the resilience of the Indian people," he said and reaffirmed the US's commitment to fight "terrorism and violence extremism in all its forms".
He added he was "humbled" by his visit to Mani Bhawan, where Mahatma Gandhi had stayed for several years.
Looking forward to his New Delhi sojourn, the US president said he will hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and address the Indian parliament.
"There, I will discuss in greater detail our efforts to broaden and deepen our cooperation and make some specific announcement on issues like counter-terrorism, regional security, on clean energy and climate change and on the advance of economic growth and development and democracy across the globe," said Obama.