MUMBAI, India (AP) — President Barack Obama began his 10-day Asia trip on a somber note Saturday, memorializing the victims of the devastating terror attacks that tore through Mumbai two years ago. "We'll never forget," the president said.
He spoke at the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the targets of the 60-hour siege that killed 166 people across the city. The president said he intended to send a signal by making Mumbai the first stop on four-country Asia trip and by staying at the Taj.
"The United States and India stand united," he said.
The president spoke after meeting privately with relatives of those killed in the attack. He and first lady Michelle Obama visited an outdoor memorial, an open-air fountain with floating flowers, just off the lobby at this hotel where one of the shooting rampages took place.
He signed a memorial book, writing: "The United States stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism."
But illustrating the difficulties of the U.S.-India relationship even as Obama begins a trip aimed at strengthening it, Indian commentators quickly seized on Obama's failure in his spoken remarks to mention Pakistan. Pakistan was the home of the 10 assailants, the place where they trained and the base they used to launch the attack.
The country is also India's archrival — but a linchpin for Washington and its allies in the war in Afghanistan.
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