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Nuclear deal will go through, Obama assures PM
Washington: US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the White House on Tuesday.

The White House banquet menu included a relishing prawn curry with basmati rice while evening entertainers include several Grammy winners, including AR Rahman.

The first state banquet given by the US first couple was high on veggies and low on meat. The Indian Prime Minister is a vegetarian and teetotaller to boot.

The guests included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Indian delegation included Deputy Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Mukesh Ambani and ICCI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar

But the biggest takeaway for the PM was a guarantee from Obama that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal will be seen through in full. The US will also help India in counter-terrorism courtesy a new intelligence sharing pact.

As they walk in to the White House east room together, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Obama making the point that the two are in step.

"When India and the United States meet it is a moment to celebrate the values of democracy," said Singh.

After nearly two hours of talks they listed the areas they had agreed on which included counter terror cooperation, an educational exchange programme called the Obama-Singh knowledge initiative, defence cooperation, agriculture, health and space technology.

The ceremonial welcome for the Prime Minister was moved indoors because of the rain, which meant cancelling the march-past and much of the colour and pomp. But that wasn't the only disappointment

Many had hoped the two sides would have wrapped up the reprocessing agreement that would have helped finalise the nuclear deal while others had hoped for a tougher line on Pakistan

"The work that Pakistani army is doing in Swat Valley and in South Waziristan all indicates the degree to which they are beginning to recognise that extremism even if initially directed outside can ultimately also have an adverse impact on security internally," Obama said.

But officials say while there may be little by way of substantial initiatives the two leaders don't lack for opportunities to make headway soon. Singh will return to Washington in April for a nuclear summit and Obama has accepted an invitation to visit India next year.

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The alliance between USA and INDIA will have good outcome. It is also benevolent on Obama's part as US will help India in counter-terrorism courtesy a new intelligence sharing pact and also the act of assuring a nuclear deal.
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