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Obama: India and Pakistan Must Bolster Peace Efforts


U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, second left, as first lady Michelle Obama is received by Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur, right, in New Delhi, India, 07 Nov 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, second left, as first lady Michelle Obama is received by Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur, right, in New Delhi, India, 07 Nov 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama is in New Delhi after discussing the sensitive subject of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan during a meeting with Indian students in Mumbai.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted Mr. Obama upon his arrival Sunday at the airport in the Indian capital, the second stop on the president's 10-day Asian tour.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet for dinner later Sunday, before announcing a series of deals Monday on issues including counter-terrorism and climate change.

Mr. Obama told students in Mumbai Sunday the U.S. is working with Pakistan aggressively to combat the cancer of Islamic extremism, but that progress is not coming as quickly as the U.S. would like.

India blames Pakistan for fostering Islamic extremists who carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed more than 160 people.

Mr. Obama told students gathered at Mumbai's St. Xavier College Sunday India has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success in the fight against extremists. He said India does not need the distraction of security troubles at a time when it is starting to see success on the global economic stage.

President Obama called on the long-time rivals to bolster peace efforts, and said the United States is willing to be a friend and partner in the process although it cannot impose peace on the two nations.

Mr. Obama also said a strong relationship between the U.S. and India has "limitless potential," potentially serving as an anchor for security, prosperity and progress for Asia as a whole.

Mr. Obama says he believes India is no longer a rising power, but one that is taking its rightful place among world leaders.

President Obama began Sunday in Mumbai, dancing with Indian students to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Mr. Obama will next visit Indonesia on his 10-day Asian tour. He lived in Indonesia during part of his childhood. He then travels to South Korea for the summit of leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies.

The president is expected to raise the issue of China's tight control of its currency, which many lawmakers and business leaders say makes Chinese goods cheaper to sell on world markets. Mr. Obama is also hoping to announce progress on the long-stalled U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement.

President Obama will also visit Japan.

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