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White House welcomes Singh's appointment as prime minister

By T V Parasuram in Washington
May 22, 2004 10:10 IST
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Welcoming the appointment of Dr Manmohan Singh as the new prime minister of India, the White House has said it looks forward to work with him to further strengthen Indo-US relations.

"We warmly welcome the news that Dr Singh will lead India's new government," President George W Bush's Press
Secretary Scott McClellan said on Thursday.

"We look forward to working with him and his team to further strengthen the US-India partnership, which is based on
our common democratic values and our shared interests. So we look forward to working with him," he said.

Asked whether Bush had "spoken with him or anybody in India," McClellan said "not at this time."

The US State Department has also hailed "the smooth transition of power taking place in New Delhi" as "a hallmark
of this large and vibrant democracy."

"The US looks forward to engaging with the new prime minister and his team on a broad array of substantive issues
that will strengthen and deepen our relationships," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
"We congratulate Dr Singh on his selection as India's next prime minister," he said.
"We look forward to continuing with him the strong  bilateral relationship which we have enjoyed with the previous government in India," he said.

Referring to Indo-Pakistan relations, Boucher said "as you know from the statement that the secretary made on Thursday with Foreign Minister Kasuri of Pakistan, we look forward to having good relations with Pakistan and with India and also to seeing the continuation of the efforts that our two friends have made to find common ground and resolve longstanding differences."


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T V Parasuram in Washington