Obama looking forward to private dinner with Manmohan

October 28th, 2010 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Oct 28 (IANS In a gesture that will highlight a “very close personal relationship” between the two leaders, US President Barack Obama will have a private dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence, a US official said here.

“And then that night, the president will have a private dinner with — the president and the First Lady will have a private dinner with Prime Minister Singh and his wife,” US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters here while unveiling Obama’s itinerary during his Nov 6-9 visit to New Delhi.

Manmohan Singh will host the dinner for the Obamas at his 7 Race Course Road residence Nov 7, a day before the two leaders sit down for wide-ranging talks that is expected to infuse a new vigour in the India-US strategic partnership. Obama begins his four-day visit to India from Mumbai Nov 6.

Rhodes stressed that Obama had “a very close personal relationship” with Manmohan Singh from his first meeting in London at the G20 meeting in April last year.

“As much as any leader in the world, I think he’s somebody who has had a close intellectual connection with the president on a range of issues surrounding economic growth and development,” he said while highlighting special chemistry that is said to exist between Manmohan Singh and Obama.

“He’s very much looking forward to this opportunity to have a private dinner with the prime minister,” he said.

Obama hosted the first state dinner of his presidency in honour of Manmohan Singh under a sprawling white tent on the lawns of the White House in November last year that brought together the who’s who of Washington and the Indian-American community. The two leaders have met several times on the sidelines of multilateral summits ever since Obama became the US president last year.

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