Manmohan, Obama have their first encounter

April 2nd, 2009 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh London, April 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama had their first close encounter here Wednesday - at the reception hosted by British premier Gordon Brown a day ahead of the G20 summit.
Obama walked up to Manmohan Singh at the reception and had his first exchange of views with the Indian leader since assuming office this January.

A member of the Indian delegation said: “President Obama walked up to the prime minister and spoke to him for almost 10 minutes.”

The interaction Wednesday set the stage for the bilateral meeting between the two leaders later Thursday.

Diplomatic sources said several world leaders were particularly keen to listen to the Indian prime minister, the Oxford-educated economist who had fashioned the country’s economic reforms in the early 1990s as finance minister.

“Over the last five years, our PM has emerged as a highly respected leader at international gatherings,” a diplomat said, maintaining that Manmohan Singh’s views were considered seriously by all the G20 leaders.

At the reception hosted by Brown, the prime minister said the rise of protectionist sentiment in the industrialised world was an issue of vital concern to developing countries.

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