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DATE=9/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CLINTON-INDIA (L) NUMBER=2-266563 BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: President Clinton and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have held talks at the White House focusing on South Asian security issues, including Kashmir and the nuclear arms competition between India and Pakistan. The program of events had to be cut back because of the Indian leader's ill health. V-O-A's David Gollust reports from the White House. TEXT: The talks here were a continuation of a dialogue begun last March when Mr. Clinton paid the first visit to India by a U-S President in more than two decades. The president, who also stopped briefly in Pakistan on that trip, has described South Asia as "perhaps the most dangerous" region of the world. And in his welcoming remarks to Mr. Vajpayee, he again stressed his interest in seeing an easing of tensions between the regional powers: /// Clinton Act /// We will discuss our common desire to see peace through dialogue in South Asia. We will talk about our common interests in slowing the spread of nuclear weapons and the broader consequences of proliferation in South Asia. At the same time, we welcome India's commitment to forego nuclear testing until the treaty banning all nuclear testing comes into force. /// End Act /// Mr. Vajpayee, who suffers from a number of aliments including a painful knee condition, remained seated for the review of troops during the [arrival] ceremony and spoke only briefly to the crowd, saying it is a time of new hope and opportunities in Indo-American relations. The Indian prime minister told the U-S Congress Thursday he hopes to erase what he called the "shadow of hesitation" that hangs over U-S-Indian ties because of the security issues and that the two countries have much in common and no clash of interests. At the request of the Indian side, a joint news conference by the two leaders that was to have been held Friday afternoon was canceled in favor of a brief talk with reporters in the White House Oval Office, at which Mr. Clinton urged a more frequent and intense U- S-Indian dialogue: /// Clinton Act Two /// I don't think it should be another 20 years before an American president goes to India. I think we should have a regular, sustained partnership. I think we should identify our common interests. We should be forthright about the places where we still have differences, and we should set about trying to resolve them in a very matter-of-fact, open and honest way. /// End Act /// Mr. Clinton said he considered it "inconceivable" that the two countries -- the world's largest democracies - - can build the kind of world they want over the coming decades unless there is s strong U-S-Indian partnership He also said he will make it a priority of his to stress the importance of the relationship with New Delhi to the next president, be it Vice President Al Gore or Republican candidate George W. Bush. (Signed) NEB/DAG/JP 15-Sep-2000 12:05 PM LOC (15-Sep-2000 1605 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .