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Remarks by PM at the Lunch hosted by Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton

Washington DC

  I thank you for your warm remarks and gracious hospitality.

Mr. Vice President, your leadership in the Senate, especially on the civil nuclear initiative, helped transform the relationship between our two democracies. We look to your continued guidance to take our relations forward.

Madam Secretary, I convey my sincere gratitude to you for the time and energy you have invested in advancing our relations. Your visit to India in July this year has prepared the groundwork for a strengthened strategic partnership between our two countries.

At our meeting today, President Obama and I reaffirmed the importance of the India-US partnership for meeting the aspirations of our people and the global challenges of the 21st century.

The civil nuclear initiative was a turning point in our relations. We are ready for an intense and wide-ranging cooperative engagement in all areas of human endeavour. In pursuing this, our shared values, common interests and the vitality and creativity of our people are our greatest assets.

Technology is the key to meeting many challenges, whether it is the transition to a green economy, achieving energy security, combating pandemics or lifting millions of our people above poverty. We should work to put in place a policy framework that facilitates the transfer of high technologies to India.

We have a shared interest in promoting prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific region. We have a common stake in peace and development in Afghanistan and in defeating terrorism in South Asia.

The creation of the G-20 framework to address global economic and financial issues was an act of statesmanship. We should build upon this cooperative and inclusive approach to problem solving at the global level.

Mahatma Gandhi had once said, and I quote “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems”, unquote. Today we have sought to bridge the gap between what is and what can be in our relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I now invite you to join me in a toast to:

- The health and happiness of Vice President Mr. Joseph Biden and Mrs. Biden and Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton;

- The friendly people of the United States of America; and

- To greater friendship between India and the United States.