U.S. looks forward to working with India's new gov't: Obama
WASHINGTON, May 12 (Xinhua/Sun) -- The United States looks forward to the formation of a new India government and working closely with the next administration, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday.
Obama congratulated the Indian people on concluding their national elections on Monday, said a statement issued by the White House.
India on Monday concluded its final phase of general election with a record high turnout of over 66 percent throughout the polling for over a month. More than 500 million voters participated in the polling that local media described as "Dance of Democracy".
"India has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history," Obama said in the statement, hailing the polling as "a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom."
The United States and India have developed a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership over the last two decades, Obama said, adding that the ties have "made our citizens safer and more prosperous and ...enhanced our ability to work together to solve global challenges."
Exit polls showed that India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party -- with Narendra Modi as its prime minister nominee -- won a majority of seats in the new Indian Lower House of Parliament, or Lok Sabha. The official results of the election will be announced Friday.
The United States imposed a visa ban on Modi in 2005 for his alleged role in the communal riots in western India state of Gujarat in 2002, in which over 1,000 people, mostly minority Muslims, were killed.
However, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal had said in March that Washington was ready to do business with Modi "if he becomes the next Indian prime minister".
In February, the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell visited Modi at his home in the western state of Gujarat, apparently putting an end to a long estrangement. Though Modi, the three-time Chief Minister of Gujarat, is accused of keeping mum during the riots, he denies any wrongdoing and has not yet been convicted by any court of law.