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?No going back on outsourcing?

Urging more liberalised global trade, Bush said he and Manmohan were committed to completing the Doha round of WTO talks, writes Nilova Roy Chaudhury.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 00:36 IST

India has arrived as a global power, and its democracy and freedoms showed the way out of the evils in the world, like terrorism, the President of the United States said on Friday. As "brothers in the cause of liberty," the "partnership" between India and the United States had the power to "transform the world," George Bush declared as dusk descended on the historic and visually stunning environs of the Purana Qila.

The relationship between India and the US, he said, was "closer than ever before."

In an address liberally sprinkled with quotes from Mahatma Gandhi, whose samadhi he visited on Thursday, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore, Bush, describing himself as a "friend of India," said there were "no limits" to what the two countries, as natural "allies", could achieve together.

Some of the history was suspect, but not what a senior diplomat called Bush's "passion" for India.

Connecting to the audience instantly with a "namaste", Bush said he was "dazzled" by the ancient land, which was the birthplace of many great religions that live side by side peacefully.

"You are inspired by the past and you can see the future. India is a natural ally for us," he said.

Open society and government also raised people from poverty, he said, elaborating as he moved to his next theme; the need for more open economies.

Urging India to open its markets to American goods and services, he said building protectionist walls was not the right way even to deal with issues arising out of offshoring American jobs to India.

"While we would not succumb to protectionism, India also has a responsibility. It should lift caps on FDI and open up its markets for American agriculture products and services," he urged.

Urging more liberalised global trade, Bush said he and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were committed to completing the Doha round of WTO talks by the end of this year.

The Doha round "provides the greatest opportunity to create prosperity for millions of people around the world, and US and India will lead the way," Bush said. The "historic initiative" on the bilateral civilian nuclear energy cooperation, he said, would benefit both their economies.

Terrorism, spawned by the deprivation of freedom, was the third main theme of his keynote address to an audience comprising parliamentarians, diplomats, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

India and the United States, which had both faced devastating terrorist attacks on their soil, were allies against terrorism, he said.

India's vibrant democracy, for which the US President was all praise, was a "compelling example" for new democracies and its "leadership is required in a world that is hungry for freedom."

"Men and women from North Korea to Burma to Syria to Zimbabawe to Cuba are fighting for their liberty...Our nations must not pretend that people of these nations prefer enslavement," he said.

"The world is benefited from the example of India's democracy and the world now requires India's leadership for its freedom's cause," he said.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 00:36 IST