M A I N   N E W S

Obama to PM: Our ties matter
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
Foreign Office mandarins heaved a sigh of relief as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received the much-awaited telephone call from US President-elect Barack Obama this morning.

During the brief conversation, Obama praised Manmohan Singh’s contribution to the progress of India both as finance minister and now as Prime Minister. The President-elect said he wished to make an early visit to India.

PMO sources quoted the charismatic African-American leader of the US as saying the US-India strategic relationship was very important and that his administration wanted to work together with India on all important global issues.

Manmohan Singh congratulated Obama warmly and said his historic victory was a source of inspiration for oppressed people all over the world.

Noting that relations between India and the US were very good, the Prime Minister emphasised that the two countries could not be satisfied with the status quo. He conveyed his best wishes for the success of the new administration in meeting the enormous

Continued on page 8

challenges that faced the world and invited the President-elect and his wife to visit India. He said a warm welcome awaited them.

The phone call came just a day before Manmohan Singh is scheduled to leave for Washington to attend the G-20 summit convened by President George Bush on November 15 to consider a global strategy to tackle the situation arising from the international economic slowdown.

The sources said India had sought a private meeting for the Prime Minister with Obama on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting.

Soon after his election last week, Obama had telephoned nearly 15 world leaders, including Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, to discuss bilateral ties, but the Indian Prime Minister did not receive a call from him. This created speculation in the media that Obama had snubbed Manmohan Singh by ignoring him while making calls to world leaders.

Manmohan Singh himself had to dismiss reports that Obama had ignored him. “No, this is not true…President Obama wanted to talk to me (on November 8). We could not establish contact because the time that was suggested was too short for me (to establish contact). Since then, I have been travelling…as soon as I go back (the talk could take place),” he told reporters while returning home on Monday night from his visit to Oman and Qatar.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |