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Obama backs closer India-US ties

Expressing satisfaction at the conclusion of an India-US agreement on reprocessing spent fuel, the White House has said President Barack Obama is glad that US is strengthening a very close bilateral relationship in an important region.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2010 11:55 IST

Expressing satisfaction at the conclusion of an India-US agreement on reprocessing spent fuel, the White House has said President Barack Obama is glad that US is strengthening a very close bilateral relationship in an important region.

"Well, obviously the President is a proponent of the agreement between the two countries," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters on Tuesday pointing out that Obama had supported the India-US civil nuclear deal even as a senator. And he "is glad that in an important region of the world we're strengthening a very close bilateral relationship."

"Obviously the President, as you know and as many of you have seen, has spent considerable time on our relationships with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in order to see security strengthened and our mutual goals worked on in an important region in the world," Gibbs said.

At the Pentagon too, an official noted India and US have a strong military to military relationship and US was exploring new ways to partner with and sell weapons and other military hardware to India.

Asked how the nuclear deal would affect India-US military ties, Defence Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said he didn't know that it does, but noted the United States has an excellent military to military relationship with India.

"We have very strong military-to-military relations with the Indian government, with the Indian military; have had them for some time," he told reporters noting Defence secretary Robert Gates recently visited India and reaffirmed the Obama administration's commitment to have strong working relationship with the Indian military.

"The secretary just visited India recently and reaffirmed our strong working relationship with Indian military, exploring new ways in which we can partner and exercise and do disaster-relief work, and sell weapons and other military hardware to the Indians," Morrell said.