Obama fully backs Bush help to India after Mumbai attacks

November 29th, 2008 - 9:59 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 29 (IANS) Expressing full support for the Bush administration’s efforts to help India in the aftermath of “outrageous terrorist attacks in Mumbai”, President-elect Barack Obama has said the US must stand with India and all others committed to destroying terrorist networks.”These terrorists who targeted innocent civilians will not defeat India’s great democracy, nor shake the will of a global coalition to defeat them,” he said Friday as President George W. Bush reassured India of continued “cooperation against these extremists.”

“The United States must stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-filled ideology,” said Obama, who takes over from Bush Jan 20, in a statement issued from his transition headquarters in Chicago.

Stressing as he has done repeatedly since his Nov 4 election “There is one president at a time, Obama said: “I will continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground in Mumbai, and am grateful for the cooperation of the Bush Administration in keeping me and my staff updated.”

“We fully support the Bush Administration’s efforts to protect American citizens and assist the government of India during this tragic time,” he said.

Obama and his wife Michelle also sent “our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the American citizens who lost their lives in the outrageous terrorist attacks in Mumbai.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with all who have been touched by this terrible tragedy,” he added.

President Bush, who is “closely” following the Mumbai crisis, at his Camp David presidential retreat just outside Washington, too reassured America’s continued cooperation to India “against these extremists who offer nothing
but violence and hopelessness.

“My Administration has been working with the Indian government and the international community as Indian authorities work to ensure the safety of those still under threat,” he said in a statement issued by the White House.

“We will continue to cooperate against these extremists who offer nothing but violence and hopelessness,” he added.

Bush said First Lady “Laura and I are deeply saddened that at least two Americans were killed and others injured in Wednesday’s horrific attack in Mumbai.

“We also mourn the great loss of life suffered by so many people from several other countries, and we have the wounded in our thoughts and prayers.”

Earlier White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said: “National Security Council, State Department, counterterrorism, and US intelligence community officials gathered Thursday “to review the situation and actions that are underway and can be taken to address the series of terrorist attacks.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was at the Camp David presidential retreat for Thanksgiving “and she has been providing updates to President Bush,” she said.

“The FBI legal attaché office in New Delhi is working with the State Department’s Regional Security Officer (RSO) team and monitoring the situation closely. The RSO teams have visited hospitals and hotels to locate and identify any injured US citizens,” Perino added.

Obama too is receiving regular updates from the State Department operations centre and the National Counter Terrorism Centre, according to Obama’s transition office.

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