MUMBAI - THE United States and India 'stand united' against terror, President Barack Obama said on Saturday, launching an Asian tour with an emotional tribute to victims and survivors of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Mr Obama, whose four-nation regional trip is designed to drum up jobs for America, hailed the 'resilience' of the Indian people in the face of the assault on the country's financial capital that left 166 dead.

'The United States stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism,' Mr Obama wrote in the condolence book at a memorial to the victims in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

'We visit here to send a very clear message that in our determination to give our people a future of security and prosperity, the United States and India stand united,' Mr Obama said after meeting survivors.

'We will never forget the awful images... The flames from this hotel that lit up the night sky. We'll never forget how the world, including the American people, watched and grieved with all of India,' said a sombre Mr Obama.

The assault by 10 Islamist militant gunmen targeted luxury hotels, Mumbai's main railway station, a Jewish centre and popular restaurant. The president said the 'terrorists' offered only death and destruction and could not trump the diversity, tolerance and resilience of nations like India and America.

US, India against terror