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NEW DELHI: Former US President Barack
Obama who’s in Delhi today+
was asked at an event about the fact that a lot was written about his friendship with PM Narendra Modi.
Obama paused a beat, and then reminded the audience that he was “also great friends” with another Prime Minister India had not so long ago.
“I like him (Modi)…I think he has a vision for the country…he is making efforts to modernise some elements of bureaucracy. But I was also great friends with Dr. (Manmohan) Singh,” said Obama.
The 44th US President then talked about how former PM Singh, a Cambridge-trained economist, was a great support in the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis.
Obama has praised the UPA PM before. In 2010, after the G20 summit in Toronto, the then US President notably said of Singh, “when the prime minister speaks, people listen”. This was particularly significant as the world was then grappling with the fallout of the US housing crisis.
“I can tell you that here at G20, when the prime minister speaks, people listen,” he said, adding it was because of his deep knowledge of economic issues, the nuances of India’s rise as a world power and its commitment towards global peace and prosperity, according to IANS news agency.
A year before that, on the sidelines of another G20 summit, Obama had called Singh “a wise and wonderful man”.
Today, Obama also praised PM Modi. He said the PM was a big driver of the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015. Significantly, in June 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement.
Obama has an interactive session scheduled for later today, via a ‘town hall’.
The ‘town hall’ is organised by the Obama Foundation, to “expand the conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and make an impact.”
Obama participated in similar events in Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil, earlier this year.
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