India-US ties defining partnership of 21st century: Obama

New Delhi: Terming India-US relations as one of the “defining” partnerships of the 21st century, US President Barack Obama Friday said forging closer ties between the two countries has been a key part of his foreign policy.

“Forging deeper ties between our two nations has been a key part of my foreign policy since I took over office,” Obama said in an interview to India Today magazine.

Replying to a question on whether he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were trying to make up for lost time, Obama said: “I recognized India with our first state visit and I came to India early in my presidency, because I firmly believe that the relationship between the United States and India can be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

The US president, who arrives in India on a three-day state visit Sunday, said: “We are natural partners, two great democracies, our strength is rooted in the power and potential of our citizens. As entrepreneurial societies, we’re global leaders in innovation, science and technology.”

“Given India’s strategic location, we can advance our shared security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. When India and the US work together, both our countries, and the world, are more secure and prosperous,” he added.

Obama said that when he addressed the Indian parliament on his last visit in 2010, he had outlined his vision for “how we could become global partners meeting global challenges”.