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South Asia an 'important trip': Bush

The US President is going to deliver a speech on Wednesday on the trip to South Asia just days before he leaves for that region

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 15:25 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

President George W Bush, who is to make a speech on Wednesday on his forthcoming visit to South Asia, Tuesday described it as an "important trip" that will cover issues like security, prosperity and trade, particularly energy security with India.

Bush is going to deliver a speech on Wednesday on the trip to South Asia just days before he leaves for that region on what many consider a historic visit that could ultimately result in realising the July 2005 civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"I'm looking forward to my speech tomorrow about my trip to India and Pakistan," the president told a press pool on Tuesday at a roundtable meeting.

"It's going to be an important trip, one where we'll work on a variety of issues with both countries -- security, prosperity and trade; working with India, of course, on energy security. It will be an important trip," he emphasised.

Bush will be in New Delhi March 1 and will be only the fifth president ever to make the trip to the subcontinent. He will be in India till March 3 before going to Pakistan on March 4 for a daylong visit.

Taking questions on his initiative to reduce dependence on Middle East oil, Bush said his Saudi friends from the royal family would understand, as it was a global issue and not just one for the United States.

"As a matter of fact, it's not only a message for the United States, that's also a message for India and China," President Bush maintained.

"In order for these growing economies to be able to be competitive, they're going to have to learn how to use technologies that will enable them to meet the needs of their people, but also the international demands of the world for good environment, for example. The Nuclear Energy Initiative I'll be talking to the Indians about is an important initiative," the president declared.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 15:21 IST