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PM to meet Obama at nuke summit

Source: PTI
April 11, 2010 00:22 IST
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United States President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet in Washington on Sunday, during which the two leaders will discuss the civil nuclear deal and other bilateral and regional issues.

In the first leg of the tour, Dr Singh will be in Washington for four days. The two-day nuke summit, an initiative of Obama, will focus on dangers posed by clandestine proliferation and illicit trafficking of nuclear material and the possibility of terrorists acquiring atomic material. Dr Singh is expected to share India's apprehensions about terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

A top White House official said on Friday that Obama and Singh would meet on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

"They would discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues," Gary Samore, senior adviser to the president, said.

This would be the first meeting between Obama and Singh after the November 24 White House State Dinner in Washington.

Obama will also meet Pakistani Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the summit.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had on Wednesday said besides a host of bilateral and regional issues, the civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries is expected to figure between Obama and Singh when they meet on Sunday.

The US and India have concluded the negotiations on reprocessing agreement, crucial for the implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The meeting at the Blair House, instead of the White House, would be the first of the series of bilateral meetings Obama would be having with the world leaders on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

"Obviously the president has developed a close working relationship with Prime Minister Singh, who visited the United States for a state dinner and working visit last year.

"We expect to, again, have a dialogue with the Indians -- continuing dialogue on a -- on a range of issues that we're working with them together on," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications.

He said Obama would also meet Gilani.

"The United States and Pakistan have a deepening partnership on a range of issues, and the President looks forward to this opportunity to continue strengthening that partnership through his discussions with Prime Minister Gilani," he said.

Obama would meet the Chinese President Hu Jintao of China on Monday.

"I think we're all quite familiar with the extensive relationship that the United States enjoys with China, so we can expect a number of important bilateral issues to come up during that meeting," said Mike Hammer, spokesperson of the National Security Council.

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