Obama prayed for India-US friendship in parliament book comment (Lead)

November 8th, 2010 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) “May the friendship between our two countries continue to grow in the years to come,” US President Barack Obama Monday wrote in the guest book of the Indian parliament.

He also wrote that it was a privilege for him to address Indian parliamentarians.

“As a representative of the world’s oldest democracy, it is a true privilege and honour to address the world’s largest democracy,” Obama, who uses his left hand, wrote.

Obama was earlier given a red carpet welcome as he entered the Indian Parliament complex. He was the first dignitary to write in the Golden Book.

As Obama arrived at the porch of Parliament House at around 5.30 p.m., Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal welcomed him and walked him inside the high- domed Central Hall.

As the dignitaries entered the hall, waiting MPs and invited guests gave a standing ovation to welcome the US president.

The 88-year-old red sandstone complex had been spruced up for the occasion and the entire heritage complex cleaned up.

After his 45-minute speech, as Obama walked out of the hall, MPs again gave him a standing ovation and many were seen keen to shake hands with the special guest.

However, not all got a chance. Congress’ Rahul Gandhi was among the MPs who shook hands with Obama.

Manmohan Singh and Meira Kumar smiled as Obama reached out to the MPs, shaking hands with them. One MP also presented him with a book.

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