Poll rout not to alter India-US ties: Obama (Lead)

November 7th, 2010 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Mumbai, Nov 7 (IANS) Looking for mid-term adjustments for his government in the wake of an electoral debacle back home, President Barack Obama Sunday ruled out any change in the “fundamental belief” of US policy that India is a “critical” partner in the 21st century.

Obama reiterated that bilateral relations between the two countries were a “win-win” situation and said the US wanted open markets for its goods in a healthy competition.

“I actually think that the US has an enormous interest in India… India is going to be a critical partner in the 21st century… So I don’t think that fundamental belief is going to be altered,” Obama told a group of Indian students here.

He was replying to a question from a student at St Xavier’s College on the mid-term election results, seen as a vote against Obama and his government, and its impact on India-US ties.

He said the growing economic powers of India, China and Brazil have given his country a “healthy competition” that will keep America “on its toes”.

Obama said the US has gone through its “toughest two years, economically since the 1930s”.

While he expressed worries about the unemployment rate in the US that was still “high” and “people are frustrated”, Obama walked a tight rope and didn’t mention about his controversial policy on outsourcing American jobs to India.

He said there was progress but “not quick enough”.

“One of the wonderful things about democracy is when people are not happy it is their right, obligation and duty to express their unhappiness. My obligation is to make sure that I stick to principles, beliefs and ideals that will move America forward,” Obama said, stressing the need to invest in infrastructure and education.

“It also requires mid-term corrections and adjustments,” the president said.

He said it would require lots of discussion with Republicans, who now control the US House of Representatives. “I believe there are areas where we agree, and there are areas where we disagree.”

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