Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of India in Arrival Ceremony (9/15/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release               September 15, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                            IN ARRIVAL CEREMONY

                              The South Lawn

9:54 A.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  It is a special honor to welcome to the White House
the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy.  (Applause.)

     Prime Minister Vajpayee, America always has had a great fascination
with India, for its rich history, culture, great religions.  And,
increasingly, we are fascinated by India when we think in terms of the

     We see in India today a rising economic leader, making breathtaking
strides in information technology; an emerging environmental leader,
promoting ambitious goals for energy efficiency; a pioneering health
leader, recently immunizing 140 million children against polio; a leader in
our community of democracies, reminding the world that freedom is not a
western value, but a universal longing.

     Mr. Prime Minister, it is not only India's democracy, but India's
manner of achieving democracy that will forever inspire America.

     On my recent trip to India, I was profoundly moved by the visit that
my daughter and our party and I had to the Gandhi Memorial.  Tomorrow, I
will be proud to join you, as you dedicate another Gandhi Memorial right
here in Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)  It is altogether fitting that both
our nations honor him.

     Martin Luther King used Gandhi's teachings to show America that while
we held principles of equality we knew to be right, we permitted practices
of inequality we knew to be wrong, and we have been changing for the better
ever since.

     Mr. Prime Minister, from very different histories, India and the
United States have forged a common bond, arising from our common commitment
to freedom and democracy.  Our challenge is to turn our common bond into
common achievements.  Today, we will continue our work in areas where the
world needs both America and India to lead if we are to defeat AIDS, reduce
poverty, protect the global environment and open the global economy.

     We will discuss our common desire to seek peace through dialogue in
South Asia.  We will talk about our common interests in slowing the spread
of nuclear weapons, and the broader consequences of proliferation in South
Asia.  At the same time, we welcome India's commitment to forgo nuclear
testing until the treaty banning all nuclear testing comes into force.

     No matter our differences -- and two such large and diverse countries
will always have some differences -- as long as we are thinking, if we
speak with care, and listen with respect, we will find common ground and
achieve common aims.

     Prime Minister Vajpayee, in your speeches you talk of India's ability
to cherish its own marvelous diversity.  In your poetry, you write of the
importance of unity, saying that people of many faiths can have one dream
in every eye.

     In America, we, too, have a dream of unity amidst our diversity.  If
people as diverse as we can affirm our common humanity and share common
dreams, surely we can and should embrace common endeavors.  Mr. Prime
Minister, I thank you again for the wonderful welcome you and your people
accorded to me, to members of my family and my delegation, on our
unforgettable trip to India.

     I hope this, too, will be a great trip for you, and that you will feel
the warmth of America's welcome in return.  But more than anything else, I
hope this is the beginning of a long line of common endeavors.  Thank you
for coming here, sir, and welcome to America.  (Applause.)

     PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE:  Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen.  I am
very pleased to be here at the White House today as the guest of the
American people and as yours.  Thank you for your kind words and your
generous hospitality.

     This is a part of a continuing dialogue between the world's two
largest democracies.  We will carry forward the talks that we began in New
Delhi in March this year during President Clinton's landmark visit to
India.  This is a time of new hope and new opportunities in Indo-American
ties.  The Indo-U.S. Vision Statement, which we signed in March this year,
embodies the aspirations and responsibilities of our two countries for the
21st century.

     Yesterday was an historic and memorable day on Capitol Hill.  This day
in the White House promises to be the same.  (Applause.)  Our dialogue will
embrace economic cooperation, science, technology, as well as in-depth
discussion on regional and global issues.  I pay a tribute to the
Indian-American community, which has been such an effective bridge in the
strengthening Indo-U.S. ties.  (Applause.)

     My sincere thanks to the people of America for the gracious welcome
extended to me here.

     Thank you.  (Applause.)

                         END     10:02 A.M. EDT

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