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Obama, PM off to a good start

india Updated: Apr 04, 2009 10:04 IST
Gautam Chikermane
Gautam Chikermane
Hindustan Times
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"The US sees India as a global power." This is what US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as they stepped into a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

"Our relationship with India is very important,” Obama told the TV crews. “India is a country, like the US, that’s full of energy.”

<b1>Turning to Singh, he said, “Mr Prime Minister, the rise of India is attributed to your wisdom. You unleashed the economic power of India as finance minister and now have been guiding the country for five years. By the time this meeting gets over, I can call you a friend. I am grateful for the time I’ve had in London with you and I look forward to visiting India.”

Singh reciprocated the warmth. “I and India, we have enormous respect and admiration for you, especially for the values you stand for,” he said. “You are a symbol of hope.”

Singh said during the past five years as prime minister one of his priorities had been to strengthen the relationship with the US.

“We are strategic partners but we are not satisfied by the status quo,” he said. “Together we will chart out a new path.
“A very, very warm welcome awaits you and your gracious wife and children in India”.

He said altogether “the summit has had a constructive outcome. I go back home satisfied, particularly my meeting with President Obama.