Obama victory proud moment for all Americans: Kissinger

November 20th, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaMumbai, Nov 19 (IANS) Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said Wednesday it was “a matter of pride for all Americans that Barack Obama, an African-American, would be the next president of the United States”.Speaking on “American Foreign Policey After Elections,” Kissinger observed that Obama’s plans to govern the US on a bipartisan basis was “good, but difficult to carry out”.

Kissinger had publicly supported Senator John McCain during the US presidential election campaign. Asked about how he felt after McCain’s defeat, Kissinger replied: “Success of America and peace in the world are more important than individual considerations.”

Commenting on the US stand on Iraq, Kissinger said that while the new administration would largely support withdrawal from that country, there was also a section with an opposing view since it felt America is close to success there. There was also an ongoing debate within the US about the nature of US foreign policy in Iraq.

Kissinger, who first visited India in 1962 while serving in the John F. Kennedy administration, said that “India’s foreign policy is very secure and has been consistent through the years”.

This was because since Independence, India had to worry about possible threats, unlike the US which was in a better position in the past. India framed and maintained an independent foreign even during the Cold War, when the US was the “principal country”, Kissinger observed.

However, there has been a change in the nature of India-US relations since India’s Independence and in the present scenario, the two nations “are uniquely close and there is no other nation with so much compatibility of interest with the US”.

Presently, two major issues have an impact on India’s foreign policy: Islamic jehad and the emergence of China, according to Kissinger.

Commenting on the relevance of India and China in the new world, Kissnger said: “Today, the center of gravity has shifted from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. Europe is currently in a transition between a past which it is rejecting and a future that it has yet to reach.”

In this context, Kissinger said that he believed in close relations between the US and China. At the same time, he expressed doubt whether China appeared like “a new version of the Soviet Union, owing to its containment of issues using military action”.

Among those present at the meeting, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) late Tuesday, were Tata Sons executive director R. Gopalakrishnan and Goldman Sachs India CEO Brooks Entwistle, who introduced Kissinger.

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