NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama sees India as the cornerstone of his country’s future engagement with Asia but he told the Press Trust of India in Washington that New Delhi’s expectations of his support for UNSC membership and transfer of dual use technology were “difficult and very complicated” issues.
Mr Obama asked Pakistan to bring to book “transparently, fully and urgently” those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, PTI said.
Answering Indian criticism that Washington had not “leaned enough” on Pakistan to deal with terrorism emanating from its soil, Mr Obama said the United States had taken every opportunity to make it clear to Pakistan that “confronting violent extremism of all sorts is in its own interests and in the interest of regional stability”.
About Mumbai attacks, the US leader said that Pakistan should fulfil its stated commitments to bring to justice those responsible for terrorism.
“Since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, we have told the Pakistani government that they have an international responsibility to cooperate to bring the perpetrators to justice, and that there is a special responsibility to do so transparently, fully and urgently,” he said.
“Pakistan is taking important steps and making sacrifices in our shared fight against extremism, and we will continue to underscore the importance of taking additional action to eliminate terrorist safe havens.”
Outlining the objectives of his three-day maiden trip to India beginning on Saturday, Mr Obama said that building “a true strategic partnership” with India had been one of his “highest foreign policy priorities” since he assumed office in January last year.
The visit would give him an opportunity to work with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring Indo-US cooperation on a broad range of issues “to a new level”, he told PTI.
The Indo-US partnership “is based on both our shared values and our shared interests, and for these reasons, I welcome and support India’s rise as a global power”.
Mr Obama said India’s rise “is in the best interests of both the countries, of the region and the world”.
He said it was important that he was visiting India as the first stop on a major trip to Asia.
“I see India as a cornerstone of America’s engagement in Asia, just as it is fundamental to our engagement in multilateral forums like the G-20. To me, the US and India share an indispensable partnership, one that has benefits for both our countries and the world,” Mr Obama said.