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India is a dear friend and ally of the US: Berman

Terming India "a dear friend and ally" of the US, a powerful American Congressman has said the administration of President Barack Obama will build up on the efforts of earlier governments to forge strong ties with New Delhi.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2009 14:16 IST

Terming India "a dear friend and ally" of the US, a powerful American Congressman has said the administration of President Barack Obama will build up on the efforts of earlier governments to forge strong ties with New Delhi.

Congressman, Howard L Berman, who had the Bush Administration and the Indian Government sweat for the passage of the Indo-US nuclear deal last year, said that India is a dear friend of the United States.

Under the Obama Administration, Berman hoped the Indo-US relationship would further strengthen.

"We have exciting opportunity in the case of India-US relationship, to build on what was started by President (Bill) Clinton and achieved by President (George) Bush. I know, this relationship is going to move forward (under Obama)," he said.

Addressing a group of Indian American leaders who had gathered at Capitol Hill for a day-long lobbying effort before the US lawmakers on Mumbai terrorist attack, Berman said: "What India has done and stood for decades since its independence is remarkable and recognised by so many Americans. India is our dear friend and our ally."

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives termed the Mumbai terror attack, as a frontal attack on democracy and pluralism.

"This was not just a terrorist attack about a border dispute on Kashmir. This was a frontal assault on values of democracy and pluralism and modernity – not just (against) India but all countries, has to be recognised," Berman said.

"We have to do everything we can to resist that kind of effort," Berman said supporting the efforts made by the Indian American community in this regard.

"That is the kind of effort which throws us back centuries. It stops advance of human progress," he said.