On the second day of his visit to India, United States President Jimmy Carter praised his host country for restoring democracy and likened this achievement to the resignation of ex-president Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal.
On the second day of his visit to India, United States President Jimmy Carter praised his host country for restoring democracy and likened this achievement to the resignation of ex-president Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal. Although Mr Carter did not refer to former Indian Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi or Mr Nixon my name, according to Reuters news agency the inference of his remarks were clear. "Not long ago, both of our people's governments passed through grave crises" he said, "In different ways the values for which so many lived and died were threatened, Indifferent ways and on opposite sides of the world, those values have been triumphant."
Mr Carter was speaking at the Indian parliament. At the start of his address he made another comparison between India and the United States.
During private talks with Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai on Monday (2 January) President Carter was involved in tough negotiation on the subject of the supply of nuclear fuels. The Indian government has accepted inspection and safeguards for nuclear power plants built and operated with foreign assistance, but has rejected them for other nuclear plants.
During a break in the discussions American sound engineers using powerful microphones picked up President Carter whispering to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance "He's pretty adamant about the nuclear fuel thing -- when we get back I think we ought to write him another letter, just cold and very blunt."
The interception of these remarks caused considerable embarrassment and Press Secretary Jody Powell pointed out that they did not reflect the tone of relations with Mr Desai. Nor did they spoil the rest of Mr Carter's official engagements. Later he paid tribute to the founder of modern India Mahatma Gandhi, at the Raj Ghat Memorial.