World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


US President At Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Dedication

Remarks By The President At Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Dedication

Washington, D.C.

11:04 A.M. EDT

Q Mr. President, how would you describe the visit overall, of the Indian Prime Minister? What has this visit meant to Indo-U.S. relations?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it's been a great success. It sort of rounds out our efforts to take a different turn in our relationships, to deepen and broaden them. As I have said many times, I am profoundly grateful for the reception that I received from the Prime Minister, the government and the people of India when I came with my daughter and my mother in law a few months ago.

I hope that this change in partnership goes beyond my service, into a whole new era of partnership between India and the United States.

You know, one thing I didn't mention a moment ago is that, in addition to the government of India, Americans who are of Indian heritage also contributed to this magnificent memorial. There is probably no country outside India that has been more enriched by Indians than the United States. So that's another reason and I think it's important we continue to go forward together.

Q Mr. President, has Mahatma Gandhi made an influence on your life, sir, in any way?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, when I was a boy, actually, I was a profound admirer of Martin Luther King, and I began to read all his writings. And when I read that he was so influenced by Gandhi, then I began to read about Gandhi. I was, I don't know, 17, 18 or something like that.

Q Mr. President, since you talked about the Indian contribution -- about immigration, H1b visas, does your administration want to do something --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me say this, the number of H1b visas will be increased in this Congress, I believe. I'll be quite surprised if it isn't. The issue is how much will it be increased by and can we use the occasion of increasing the quotas to get some more funds from the companies that are hiring people for the training of our own people, who could also do these jobs -- the people who are already here -- if they had training. So there's no question that we're going to increase the visas.

Q Mr. President, the fact is you said you're very excited, it was a very positive visit. In concrete terms, where do you see the alliance going now? Where in concrete terms do you see India and the United States as natural allies going ahead?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope in the years ahead we'll be better economic partners, better political partners. I hope we'll work together through the United Nations and other international forums. I hope we'll both be able to help to turn back what could otherwise be a dangerous tide of proliferation of dangerous weapons -- not just nuclear warheads on missiles, either -- chemical weapons, biological weapons. I hope we'll be able to turn that back.

And I hope some day that there will be some constructive role we could play as a partner in working with India and others to bring peace on the subcontinent.

Q Will you be a strategic ally? Will we be a strategic ally?

THE PRESIDENT: We've done enough talking today. (Laughter.) If you want to ask the Prime Minister a question -- (laughter.)

Q Mr. President, do you see yourself going back to India after post-presidency?

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. Absolutely. I hope I'll be able to go back to India for the rest of my life -- I don't mean permanently, but I mean to keep going back, always.

END 11:09 A.M. EDT

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


The Gili Islands: A Community Earthquake Recovery Effort

Joseph Cederwall travelled to the Gili Islands in October 2018 to talk to locals about their experiences of the event and witness the impact and the rebuild efforts on this unique ecotourism destination. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ongoing Carnage In Gaza

The past month has devoted a lot of space to the best music and films of 2018, and far less to the past year’s human rights violations. The under-reporting on the ongoing carnage in Gaza has been a case in point. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink
Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>