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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in Bali

November 18, 2011

President Obama. Well, it is a great pleasure, once again, to meet with my dear friend Prime Minister Singh and his delegation.

Last year around this time, I embarked on what was an extraordinary trip to India, in which we continued to strengthen the bonds, both commercial, on the security side, and strategic, between the world's two largest democracies. And since that time, we've continued to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our countries are not just at the leadership level, but they're obviously at the person-to-person level given the extraordinary contributions of Indian Americans to our culture, our politics, and our economy.

This would be a outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together not only on bilateral issues, but also in multilateral fora, like the East Asia Summit, which we believe can be the premier arena for us to be able to work together on a wide range of issues such as maritime security or nonproliferation, as well as expanding the kind of cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian aid that's so important.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, it's wonderful to see you again. I look forward to a productive discussion, and I very much appreciate all our cooperation.

Prime Minister Singh. Mr. President, it's always a great pleasure and privilege to greet you. And I recall with immense pleasure your historic visit to our country by the same time last year. And in the last 1 year, we have made progress in every direction, strengthened by our bilateral cooperation in field of economy, investment, trade, in the field of higher education, in the field of clean energy, and strategy and defense relations.

And I am very happy to report to you that there are today no irritants whatsoever in our working together on a multiplicity of areas, both bilateral, regional, and global issues. It's a privilege for India to count you and your administration as deeply interested in ensuring that India makes a success of its historic journey to have the social and economic transformation carried out in the framework of an open society, a democratic polity, committed to the rule of law and respect for full human freedoms.

Mr. President, in the last 1 year, we have strengthened in many ways the path that you set up in your historic visit. And whether it is in civil nuclear cooperation, whether it is in humanitarian relief and disaster management, maritime security, all these are issues which unite us in our quest for a world free from the threat of war, want, and exploitation.

With these words, I once again thank you for giving me this opportunity to meet with you. And that is something which the people of India value a great deal. To find the goodwill that you have shown in your Presidency is something we deeply appreciate.

Thank you very much.

President Obama. Thank you, everyone.

Note: The President spoke at 9:37 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Bali hotel.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in Bali Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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