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For India, Obama is as good as Bush: PM

By Sheela Bhatt on board Prime Minister's flight
Last updated on: July 11, 2009 19:13 IST
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United States President Barrack Obama will not be less sensitive than his predecessor George W Bush towards India. That is the impression Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh got while interacting with Obama in the last two days at L'Aquila in Italy during the G-8 summit.

While talking to the media on board of his flight back home, Dr Singh said that he had "exchange of ideas on many issues with Obama".

When asked about the perception that Obama may be good for the world, but not for India, the prime minister said, "I find President Obama very supportive of India's development ambitions. He has great admiration for India. I spent considerable time this morning; he and I were sitting side by side in the session on agriculture. We exchanged notes on a large number of issues and I look forward to my visit to Washington to meet with him. As I said earlier, we have invited President Obama to pay us a visit and therefore there is basis no apprehension that the Obama Administration will be less sensitive to India's concerns than the previous Bush administration."

However, The Hindu today carried a story, saying the Obama administration has persuaded G-8 countries to ban the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items to countries which have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

India, Pakistan and Israel have not signed the treaty.

The news, which has far-reaching implications on the Indo-US nuclear deal, could not be confirmed independently. If the news turns out to be true, then it will be considered as a diplomatic setback.

While talking to the media, Singh gave the impression that both the leaders clicked well in their meeting in Italy and in the previous meeting in London.

PM Singh said, "I find Obama very supportive of India,that he mentioned to me more than one occasion in the last two days. That is the impression he gave me in London, and that is the consistent impression that I have got that we have a very responsive President Obama as far as India's aspirations are concerned."

As we reported earlier, Dr Singh is expected to travel to the US by the year-end.

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Sheela Bhatt on board Prime Minister's flight