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What Dr Singh and the Saudi King have in common

Last updated on: August 20, 2010 12:08 IST

Dr Singh tops Newsweek magazine's list of 10 world leaders

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tops Newsweek magazine's list of 10 world leaders who have won respect across the globe. He is described as 'the leader other leaders love'.

The magazine says Dr Singh has played a "key role in India's emergence as one of the rising powers of the 21st century."

In an article titled 'The Leader Other Leaders Love', the magazine said the economist-turned-politician engineered the transition of India "from stagnant socialism to a spectacular takeoff in the global economy."

"But it's Singh's unassuming personal style that really inspires awe among his fellow global luminaries, who praise him for being modest, humble, and incorruptible," the magazine said.

Let's take a look at the other world leaders who made it to the list

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David Cameron

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He has attracted criticism from political experts over his unguarded comments about Pakistan and Israel. But Cameron remains unmoved by his gaffes in the matters of foreign policy and manages to make it to the list.

Says the magazine, "The country's youngest prime minister in more than a century, untested in government, this 43-year-old inherited a fragile economy, an unpopular war, and a country fed up with politicians. But his drastic plans for tackling the budget deficit have soothed the markets, and his assured manner has impressed fellow heads of state."

It goes on to say, "Cameron's satisfaction rating among voters has climbed to almost 50 percent, and analysts across the political spectrum are hailing him for his daring".

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Nicolas Sarkozy

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Newsweek describes the flamboyant French President as 'Loved Abroad, Hated at Home'.

Sarkozy has often made news for the wrong reasons: his affair and then marriage with former model Carla Bruni, his penchant for wearing heels, his extreme right-wing views on immigration and his involvement in a scam about illegal donations.

"But give Sarkozy the chance to perform on a bigger stage -- heading the European Union, as he did in 2008, for instance -- and suddenly he's right in his element. Back then he took the lead on everything from fighting Somali pirates to brokering an end to a war between Russia and Georgia," says Newsweek.

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Wen Jiabao

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Fondly known as 'Grandpa Wen', the openly sentimental Chinese President is believed to be popular in his country.

"Jiabao has earned a reputation as a leader with a heart. Speaking with survivors of the massive 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Wen openly wept," says Newsweek.

But some critics claim that Jiabao's affectionate grandfatherly image is a carefully built up facade to conceal the harsh realities of the Communist regime.

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Mohamed Nasheed

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At 43, he is one of the youngest leaders in the list and heads one of the tiniest nations in the world. But Newsweek hails Nasheed as the 'Green Guru' who "shamed rich governments by pledging to make the Maldives the world's first carbon-neutral nation".

Nasheed has been imprisoned repeatedly, held in solitary confinement and tortured for his opposition to the regime of then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. In 2008, he won the presidential elections and ended the 30-year-old rule of Gayoom over the tourist haven.

Nasheed has emerged as one of the most environmentally conscious world leaders. He has been tirelessly seeking a climate change deal to save his nation, which faces extinction due to rising sea levels.

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Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

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Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz featured on the list on the basis of the many initiatives he has taken for opening Saudi Arabia to foreign investors, making education accessible to people, eliminating extremists within his country's borders and opening the job market to women.

"Throughout his reign so far, he has worked tirelessly to bring people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds together," says Newsweek.

In 2005, King Abdullah launched the first-ever awareness campaign to reinforce the values of the Islamic faith and educate Saudi citizens about the dangers of extremism and terrorism. The campaign, conducted over several months, featured advertisements on television, radio and billboards, as well as programmes on television, in schools, mosques and at sporting events.



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