White House would welcome Manmohan Singh’s return: WSJ

May 16th, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 16 (IANS) The return of “low-key” Manmohan Singh as prime minister after a “high-profile victory” in general elections is likely to be welcomed by President Barack Obama’s administration, the Wall Street Journal said Saturday.

“He has been a big driver of improved relations between the US and India after decades of mutual suspicion as India tilted toward the Soviet Union,” the leading US financial daily noted in an analysis from New Delhi.

“Singh had a close working relationship with former president George W. Bush, most obviously in their decision to pursue the nuclear deal (that) was viewed as a landmark event in India’s emergence as a key commercial global power,” it said.

Manmohan Singh’s government also has been working closely with the Obama administration on the new US plan to bring peace and stability to Pakistan and Afghanistan, it noted.

Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, recently was in New Delhi where he noted India’s critical role.

“We can’t settle issues like Afghanistan and many other issues without India’s full involvement,” Holbrooke had said. “India is a vital leader in the region,” added Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who accompanied Holbrooke.

In a report titled “Low-Key Singh Wins High-Profile Victory”, the Journal recalled that in January Manmohan Singh handed over the reins of power to his deputy as he underwent a heart bypass surgery.

“It seemed an apt metaphor for a leader struggling to deal with the aftermath of the November terrorist attacks in Mumbai and a rapidly slowing Indian economy,” the Journal said.

“On Saturday, however, Singh was firmly back in control as his Congress party turned in a surprisingly big victory in national elections that were held over the past month.”

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