U.S., India Partnership Makes World Safer, Bush Says

By Steven Donald Smith

The United States and India have built a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values and a desire to defeat terrorism, President Bush said in New Delhi.

"Terrorism has no place in democracy, and terrorism must be defeated for our children and grandchildren to be able to live in a peaceful world," Bush said during a news conference hosted by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "We’re working as partners to make the world safer."

The president said India and America both believe that "every person matters, every person belongs, and everybody should be able to worship as freely as they want to." India is the world’s most populous democratic state, with a diverse religious and cultural make-up.

The way to defeat terrorists in the short term, Bush said, is through good intelligence. "One way we work together on terrorism is to make sure intelligence services share information," he said.

Singh concurred. "I was particularly pleased that we agreed on the need to root out terrorism, of which India has been a major victim," he said. "We must fight terrorism wherever it exists, because terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere."

In the long run, terrorism will be defeated by giving people hope and opportunity, as opposed to systems of government which breed resentment, Bush said. He also said that terrorists must be given "no quarter" and that the prosecution of the war on terror must never yield.

Bush said he intends to bring the same message to President Perez Musharraf of Pakistan when he visits there following his trip to India.

On the democracy front, both the United States and India are participants in the U. N. Democracy Fund, which provides grants to help young democracies develop civil institutions and a free society. "I particularly want to thank the Indian people and the Indian government for supporting the new democracy in the neighborhood," Bush said.

He added that the Indians have pledged $565 million in reconstruction aid, and $50 million for the new national assembly building in Afghanistan.

"We seek a world free of poverty, ignorance, disease and the threat of terrorism," Singh said. "The United States and India must work together in all possible forms to promote these ends."

In addition, the two nations concluded a historic agreement on the nuclear issue.

The agreement addresses India’s surging energy needs for its growing economy. Both countries agreed to pursue civil nuclear cooperation. India said it would take steps that will bring it into the international nonproliferation mainstream, including placing its civilian nuclear facilities and programs under the International Atomic Energy Agency, U.S. officials said.

Bush also thanked India for sending aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. "I was struck, and so were the American people, that the Indian air force delivered Hurricane Katrina aid to an air force base in Little Rock, Ark. And for that, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you," he said.

"We’re partners in peace," Bush said. "And that’s in the interests of our own people, as well as the interests of people around the world."

According to a White House fact sheet, the United States and India are also cooperating in the following areas:

Maritime Security Cooperation: The United States and India are committed to a comprehensive cooperative effort to ensure a secure maritime domain.

Counterterrorism: The United States and India are jointly expanding the scope of our counterterrorism cooperation, including work on bioterrorism and cybersecurity.

Military Logistics Support: The United States and India will soon sign an agreement to facilitate mutual logistic support during combined training, exercises, and disaster relief operations.

Defense Trade: The United States reaffirmed its goal to help meet India’s defense needs and to provide the important technologies and capabilities that India seeks.

Nonproliferation: Both countries support efforts to limit the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technologies and also support the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.

U.S., India Partners in Cause of Liberty, Bush Says

By Steven Donald Smith

With support from the United States and India, the universal value of freedom has the power to change the world for the better, President Bush said in New Delhi.

"The United States and India, separated by half the globe, are closer than ever before, and the partnership between our free nations has the power to transform the world," Bush said on the second day of his two-day stay in India. "India in the 21st century is a natural partner of the United States, because we are brothers in the cause of human liberty."

Bush said India and the United States are working together to achieve two main objectives: to expand freedom and economic prosperity across the globe and to defeat international terrorism. He said the partnership between the two countries has "deep and sturdy roots" based on common values, such as the belief all people are created equal and are endowed with certain fundamental rights.

The president said terrorists resort to violence because they are opposed to these values. "The terrorists are followers of a violent ideology that calls for the murder of Christians and Hindus and Sikhs and Jews and vast numbers of Muslims who do not share their radical views," he said. "The terrorists’ goal is to impose a hateful vision that denies all political and religious freedom."

Terrorists lack the military strength to challenge great nations directly, Bush said, so they use fear as a weapon. "When terrorists murder innocent office workers in New York or kill shoppers at a market in Delhi or blow up commuters in London, they hope these horrors will break our will," he said.

Bush said terrorists are wrong to think they can frighten free nations into giving up without a fight. "America and India love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," he said.

In the long term, winning the war on terrorism requires changing the conditions that foster terror, Bush said. Hatred must be replaced by hope, opportunity must replace despair, and freedom must prevail everywhere, he said. "Free societies do not harbor terrorists or breed resentment. Free societies respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors. Free societies are peaceful societies," he said.

People in places such as North Korea, Burma, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iran and Cuba desire to be free, and democratic nations must not ignore this fact, Bush said. "Our nations must not pretend that the people of these countries prefer their own enslavement," he said. "We must stand with reformers and dissidents and civil society organizations and hasten the day when the people of these nations can determine their own future and choose their own leaders."

Bush pointed out that 60 years ago there were fewer than two dozen democracies in the world, while today there are more than 100. "The advance for freedom is the great story of our time," he said. "There’s only one history of man — and it leads to freedom."