Singh Obama to meet at G20 Summit

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Mar. 30 – American President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet for the first time at the sidelines of the G20 summit in London on Thursday. The meeting will be the first for Obama and possibly the last for Singh whose political party is up for elections this May.

The two leaders are expected to discuss growing India-US relations, Pakistan policy, climate change and bilateral and multilateral treaties to bail both nations out of the economic crisis as soon as possible. The Obama-Singh meeting is expected to be especially crucial to the two nation’s foreign policy as the explosive situation in Pakistan, India’s role in rooting out terrorism in the region and Obama’s Afghan-Pak policy will be the crux of the meetings. The much awaited meeting comes after Hilary Clinton recently visited China but not India on her first tour of Asia as secretary of state. This meeting is expected to lay the foundations of India-US polices for the next Indian government.

“The United States and India must work together to help address what is one of the most urgent security challenges facing us — to work with the democratic governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to root out the violent forces that threaten the stability of the region and pose a direct danger to the Indian and American homelands,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, reported the Hindu.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a friendly relation with Obama’s predecessor George Bush which the two sides want to continue. It was under the Bush administration that Manmohan Singh got the iconic India-US nuclear deal signed last year.