8 Nov 2010

Obama urges India to step up peace efforts with Pakistan

8:38 pm on 8 November 2010

United States President Barack Obama has urged India to bolster peace efforts with Pakistan.

Mr Obama has praised what he calls the "people-to-people ties" and "core values" shared by the US and India.

Mr Obama has also been discussing economic ties between the two countries as well as India's relationship with Pakistan.

Relations between the neighbouring countries have floundered since Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people in a 60-hour rampage through Mumbai, gunning down victims at luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish centre. India says elements in the Pakistan state were behind the attacks in 2008.

Speaking on the final day of his visit to the country, he described India as a country not just on the rise but a country that has risen.

His tour has been welcomed as bringing Delhi and Washington closer together.

However, observers say Mr Obama faces a diplomatic tightrope in fostering ties with the growing global power, while it helps Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and promotes wider peace in Afghanistan.

Mr Obama is in India on the first leg of a tour of Asia. He will also travel to Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.