Speaking to an audience of young people, the US president reiterated that the relationship between Washington and New Delhi “can be one of the defining partnerships of this century.”
The speech was the finale of a packed visit which has seen a dramatic upturn in an often troubled relationship, including the signing of a new “friendship” declaration between President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was denied visa by the US till less than a year ago.
PM Modi has developed a close bond with President Obama, with both keen to counter-balance the rise of China.
“India and the United States are not just natural partners – I believe that America can be India’s best partner,” said Mr Obama after receiving a rapturous welcome from a group of around 1,500 people.
“Of course, only Indians can decide India’s role in the world. But I’m here because I am absolutely convinced that both our peoples will have more jobs and opportunity, our nations will be more secure, and the world will be a safer and more just place when our two democracies stand together,” he said.
President Obama’s speech was the final engagement on his visit, the centre-piece of which was his attendance as chief guest at Monday’s Republic Day parade, a first for a US president.