US - India

Upon arrival in India, Obama says both countries stand united

Reuters/Jason Reed

In a speech on the steps of the Mumbai hotel ravaged by the November 2008 terror attacks, US President Barack Obama said India and Washington stood united to guard the "torch of freedom". Obama arrived in India Saturday for the first leg of an Asian tour.


"We visit here to send a very clear message that in our determination to give our people a future of security and prosperity, the United States and India stand united," Obama said at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel.

"Ever since those horrific days, two years ago, the Taj has been a symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people.

"We will never forget the awful images of 26/11. The flames from this hotel that lit up the night sky. We'll never forget how the world, including the American people, watched and grieved with all of India.”

Obama’s nine-day Asian tour designed to drum up jobs for America and boost exports, days after Obama's Democrats took a drubbing in mid-term elections.

He and wife Michelle flew to Mumbai on Air Force One at the start of a trip that will also take the president to Indonesia, South Korea for the G20 summit and Japan for the Apec summit.

Security was extremely tight in Mumbai, with roads closed, a ban enforced on sea traffic off the coast and the plaza near the Taj and Gateway of India monument sealed off.

US officials now say that cooperation with India on counter-terrorism is at its highest-ever level, despite India's misgivings about US support for Pakistan.


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