New Delhi: US President Barack Obama on Monday said that his India trip would improve and strengthen relations between the two countries. Speaking at the Rahstrapati Bhawan after receiving a ceremonial welcome, Obama said that USA and India were the two largest democracies in the world and shared a core set of values.
"Warmest regards from the people of America for the people of India. I thank all the people of India. The trip has been taken to strengthen the relation between India and US. We are two largest democracies in the world, we share people to people contact, we share core set of values," said the US President.
Obama said that United States intended to strengthen what has already been an incredible partnership between the two countries to what would "be a defining partnership of the 21st century".
"I am looking forward to the bilateral meeting (with Manmohan Singh) to discuss issues like counter-terrorism, commercial ties and strengthen our bilateral relations on international economy. We can build on people to people ties. Millions of Indian Americans contribute so much to our country. India is not simply an emerging power but a world power," he said.
He added that the two countries would work on international principles and for peace and stability not only for the two countries but for the entire world.
Earlier, the US President was given a ceremonial welcome and tri-service Guard of Honour at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Obama along with his wife Michelle was received by President Pratibha Patil, her husband Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with his wife Gursharan Kaur at Rashtrapati Bhawan after which the national anthems of India and USA played.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Defence Minister AK Antony were also present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan before the US first couple pulled up in their black limousine.