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When Manmohan Singh Speaks, People Listen: Obama


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TORONTO - Praising the statesmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the rise of India, US President Barack Obama Sunday said he was “looking forward” and “excited” about visiting India with First Lady Michelle later this year.

Personally thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife Gurcharan Kaur for their friendship , Obama also hoped his visit to India - scheduled for the early part of November - would be extremely productive for the two sides.

“It is a trip that I’m very much looking forward to,” said Obama, before holding alks with Manmohan Singh after the conclusion of the G20 Summit that also saw the convergence of views expressed by India and the US.

“We are also just excited because of the tremendous cultural, as well as political and social and economic examples, that India is providing the world and has in the past,” said the US president.

Obama, particularly, had a lot of praise for Manmohan Singh.

“I can tell you that here at G20, when the prime minister speaks, people listen,” he said, adding it was because of his deep knowledge of economic issues, the nuances of India’s rise as a world power and its commitment towards global peace and prosperity.

The US president also recalled that the state dinner hosted by him for Manmohan Singh - the first for his presidency - was “wonderful” and that it had set the tone for India-US ties that they had both termed as a strategic partnership.

“We want to make sure that in addition to government-to-government ties, we were initiating people-to-people ties,” he said, adding emphasis also remained on how to get the businesses of the two side to work together.

Manmohan Singh, on his part, also praised Obama no length and said it was because of him that the strategic partnership between India and the US was getting a new thrust, meaning and endeacvour.

“You are a role model for millions and millions of people all over the world,” said the Indian prime minister said of Obama, almost 30 years his junior. “Your life history is a history that inspires millions of people everywhere.”

Manmohan Singh said it was his privilege to enjoy Obama’s friendship, and assured that he was waiting to welcome the US president and his family to India so that they could also see for themselves the transformations the nation was undergoing.

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