Speaker Pelosi Meets With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

This evening, Speaker Pelosi held a brief press availability followed by a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Republic of India. Speaker Pelosi extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress during a future visit to the United States.

Speaker Pelosi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Their remarks:

Speaker Pelosi. It is a great honor indeed to welcome the Prime Minister of the Republic of India to the United States Capitol. It is a sign of our friendship that the red carpet is being rolled out from the White House to the Capitol and in between to welcome this truly great man, perhaps one of the most respected leaders in the world.

I had the privilege to lead a delegation to India in March, where we had the privilege of meeting with the Prime Minister and had conversations about climate change and the economy and about fighting terrorism and other issues of concern. It gave me the opportunity to once again express the admiration that Americans have for India, our close relationship with Reverend Martin Luther King, taking his lead from Mahatma Gandhi in learning about nonviolence and how it produced results. The Prime Minister mentioned that in his speech and that relationship in his speech to the Council [on Foreign Relations] just earlier. Also I want to thank India for the hospitality it extends to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

India is recognized as a country that is values based. And as the Prime Minister has told us again on this trip, it is time for us to have a new dynamic while we talk about economies that recognize that alleviation of poverty is central to all of our success. I look forward to a conversation with the Prime Minister about how the U.S./India relationship can be strengthened, intensified and be for the good of the world. I look forward to hearing his views on Afghanistan, Iran and fighting terrorism.

Almost one year to the day, November 26, 2008, when India suffered the terrible loss in Mumbai, we are gathered here to learn from that experience to see how we can work more closely together for the good of all the people of the world, in our country, and in India as well.

It is now my privilege to extend an invitation to the Prime Minister to say a few words.

Prime Minister Singh. Madam Speaker, it is a great privilege and a great honor for me to be invited to meet you in your august office.

I had the privilege of welcoming you to our country earlier in the year, and I was tremendously impressed by your ability to comprehend the difficult issues which confront a country of India's size, India's complexity, India's diversity, and your commitment to Gandhian values.

You are a living embodiment of the values and the ideals which inspire Mahatma Gandhi. And for me therefore, it is a unique opportunity to be invited to meet with you in your office. I know the important role that the Speaker of the House of Representatives plays in the body politic of this great country that the United States is. And for me, it is a real honor to be received by the Speaker in her august office.

I am here at the invitation of the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, to strengthen in every possible way the multi-faceted relationship that we have developed over the years with the United States. We are strategic partners. It is my hope and ambition to give new meaning, new trust, to this strategic partnership during this visit and in this role of Speaker it is of great importance, so I am very happy to have the Madam's blessings and support in the task that I am engaged in. I thank Madam Pelosi for the honor that she has done to me, inviting me to visit her in her august office in this House of Representatives.

Speaker Pelosi. If I may, Mr. Prime Minister, may I add that this is Thanksgiving week in America, so Congress is out of session. We hope that you will come back soon again, and I extend an invitation for you to address a Joint Session of the Congress of the United States when you come back — about our strategic partnership and how we go into the future.

Prime Minister Singh. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.