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Staying at Taj was a 'message' to terrorists: Hillary

July 21, 2009 20:09 IST

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that by staying at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, targeted during 26/11 attacks, she wanted to send the message that the US and India will work together to "stamp out" terrorism and are "not giving in" to terrorists.

"I wanted to start in Mumbai and I wanted to stay here (at Taj), and I wanted to show our sympathy and solidarity for the people who lost their lives and were injured in the terrorist attack and for those who courageously prevented more deaths and injury," she said.

She wanted to "make it very clear" that "we're going to work together to stamp out the scourge of terrorism," Clinton said in an interview recorded in Mumbai for the "On the Record" programme of Fox News channel.

"I think part of staying here, part of the message that I want to send is that, just like we did after 9/11, we are not giving in. We are not in any way intimidated by the terrorists," the 61-year-old top American diplomat said.

She said she was "very anxious" to come to India. "We waited until after their elections were over, which we thought appropriate. And then as soon as I could, I scheduled a trip to come and talk to the leaders about all the issues that we are going to work on together," Clinton said.

The terrorists can "wreak havoc and death" but they are no match for people's feelings of positive energy, their commitment to life, willingness to keep going," Clinton felt.

"So I see it as a rebuke to those who plan and plot and carry out these horrible attacks. And I feel very strongly that we have to stand up against that," she said.

To a question on climate change, she said the US wants to "see India develop" and feels that there is "no contradiction between the eradication of poverty and doing it in a low-carbon economy."

"So our job is to make it clear that we need a global agreement, because climate change threatens all of us, but it particularly threatens people on the margins, the rural poor, because their soil is literally drying up and blowing away. It threatens people in coastal countries like India."

Asked why should people in America care about India, Clinton said "because they are a great and growing nation with more and more not just regional, but global power."

"Decisions that are made here in India are going to affect bread and butter issues that are important to Americans ...And there is certainly a lot of connections between India and the US. We have a very active Indian-American community that has made great contribution to our country," Clinton said.

"We need partners who will help us combat terrorism, help us combat the spread of deadly weapons, help us patrol the waters of the world so pirates don't interfere with commerce, help us discover new technology and new prescription drugs and all the other great research possibilities that India is focusing on that will improve lives of Americans," Clinton added.

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