PM Moraji Desai holds talks with Carter

(From The Hindu's archives: 14.06.1978) President Jimmy Carter accorded a hearty welcome to Prime Minister Morarji Desai when the latter arrived at the White House for talks with him this morning.

September 26, 2014 03:27 pm | Updated 03:27 pm IST - Washington

A very colourful ceremony in honour of Mr. Desai on the lush green lawns of the White House included a guard of honour and a 19-gun salute. Minutes before Mr. Desai's arrival, Mr. Carter and Mrs. Rosalyn Carter had positioned themselves at the diplomatic en- trance of the White House. As Mr. Desai's motorcade arrived, a beaming Mr. Carter stepped forward and warmly shook hands with him. He also welcomed External Affairs Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee. Mr. Carter then introduced Mrs. Carter, Vice-President Walder Mondale and Chief of Army Staff General Bernard Rogers. Mr. Desai then went up to a platform and the national anthems of the two countries were played. This followed a 19-gun -salute and Mr. Carter then escorted Mr. Desai and introduced him to the commander of the troops. Mr. Desai inspected a guard of honour. After these brief ceremonies, Mr. Carter and Mr. Desai moved to the press area where they made brief speeches.

India's Nuclear Stand Hailed

President Carter said the United States welcomed India's bold declaration that it would not manufacture nuclear weapons and would refrain from conducting even peaceful nuclear explosions. He said the friendship between the two largest democracies in the world, which had in right earnest respected human rights, was deep and abiding and an era of very constructive co-operation lay ahead of them. He described Mr. Desai as a man of courage and conviction. Replying, Mr. Desai said he had come to the United States "with a feeling of deep satisfaction that our bilateral relations are so much closer than they have been for some time in the past." Mr. and Mrs. Carter escorted Mr. Desai to the south portico balcony of the White House and the party entered the Blue Room for coffee. At 11 a.m. Mr. Carter escorted Mr. Desai to the Oval Office for another session of photographs. Immediately after, the two leaders accompanied by their principal aides proceeded to the Cabinet room. Mr. Desai was accompanied by Mr. Vajpayee. Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Mr. V. Shankar, Foreign Secretary, Mr. Jagat Mehta and Indian Ambassador Nani Palkhiwala. Global denuclearisation and Big Power intervention in Africa are expected to be the main issues Mr. Desai will raise during his talks with President Carter. The thorny question of supply of enriched uranium by U.S. to the Tarapur power plant under contractual agreement will also figure in the talks. Economic matters will also be discussed at meetings with U.S. Trade Secretary Mr. Kreps and World Bank chief Mr. McNamara. Mr. Morarji Desai was given a very warm welcome when he arrived here yesterday evening. He was received at the Andrews' Air Force base by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as he arrived by a Presidential plane from New York. A large number of Indians and members of the Indian Embassy staff were present at the airport to greet Mr. Desai. Shortly before his departure for Washington, Mr. George Woods, former Director of the World Bank, called ou Mr. Desai in the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York. The New York Times editorial board hosted a luncheon in honour of Mr. Desai and later he had an hour-long meeting with the editorial boards of Time and Fortune magazines. From the airport, Mr. Desai, accompanied by Mr. Vance, drove to Blair House, opposite the White House, which is reserved for top visiting dignitaries to Washington. Tomorrow Mr. Desai will have a second round of talks with Mr. Carter and address the National Press Club at a luncheon meeting. In the evening, Indian Ambassador Mr. Nani Palkhivala will host a reception in honour of Mr. Desai at his residence. Mr. Devii will close his day with an address to the Indian community at Maryland University at night. Next day he will meet the U.S. Congressmen, visit the Gandhi Memorial Centre and then leave for New York en route home, concluding his tour of Belgium, Britain and the United States.

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