India hopes India-US partnership will strengthen under US president

As United States President Barack Obama made front-page headlines in Indian newspapers for the second day Thursday, the government expressed hope that India-US relations would be further strengthened under the new leadership, reported dpa.

"I am confident that under your leadership the India-US partnership will be further strengthened and that we shall continue to work together for the many commonalities in our vision for our peoples and for international peace and stability," Indian President Pratibha Patil said in a letter to Obama released late Wednesday and published in local media on Thursday.

Patil said she looked forward to receiving Obama and his wife Michelle in India.

"As you lead your country into a new era, my good wishes and those of the government and the people of India are with you," Patil said in her message.

India has so far not commented on Obama's hard line on terror in relation to Pakistan in the new administration's foreign policy document.

The document made clear that non-military aid to Pakistan would be tied to its performance in the fight against terrorism.

New Delhi appeared pleasantly surprised by Obama's hard line on terror, although it was still doubtful about how far the Prez would go, the Times of India newspaper said, citing sources in government.

India has claimed that elements based in Pakistan were involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November that killed 170 people.

It has been putting pressure on Pakistan to act against these elements.

There seemed to be some disappointment in India that the country was not mentioned as one of the United States major allies in the region in the foreign policy document, the Times of India added.

India and the US had moved closer in the final years of the George W Bush presidency with the signing of a civilian nuclear agreement and other strategic cooperation agreements.

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