President Obama said on Sunday that there is a “new and unprecedented opportunity” to deepen U.S. ties with India.
“I want to express my profound gratitude to not only you but the people of India for the incredible hospitality that has been shown to me and Michelle,” Obama said during a visit to New Delhi, noting he was the first U.S. president to attend the India’s Republic Day celebration and the first president to visit India twice during his presidency.
“Administration officials and members of Congress, all who believe a strong relationship with India is critical for America’s success in the 21st century” traveled with the president to New Delhi, Obama said.
Obama stressed greater ties on trade and climate change during comments with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Noting that trade between the U.S. in India has increased by some 60 percent in recent years, Obama said, “we want to trade even more.”
Obama said that although his visit was “rich with symbolism, “ leaders of the two nations “made substantive progress.”
Obama said he and Modi made a “breakthrough” to advance civil nuclear cooperation.
They also agreed to resume discussions on a bilateral investment treaty and agreed to a number of steps to promote clean energy and climate change, Obama said.
Obama also stressed a commitment to pursue a strong global climate change agreement in Paris.
“I think India’s voice is very important on this issue,” he said.
Obama thanked Modi for “India’s strong counterterrorism cooperation” and its “ongoing efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
In his remarks, Modi said the leaders agreed to “coproduction of specific advanced defense products.”
“This will help domestic defense industry and expand manufacturing sector in India.”
“We will also explore cooperation in advanced defense technologies,” he added.
“We will also work closely to help Afghanistan through its transition,” Modi said.