Washington: US President Barack Obama would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, during which the two leaders would discuss a range of issues, a senior Obama administration official said on Thursday.
“I think this will be an important opportunity for the (US) President to continue to foster the close relationship that he has with Prime Minister Singh,” a senior administration official told reporters.
Obama will be meeting Singh soon after his meeting with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“I think the President has coordinated very closely with India through the G-20 and also, on a bilateral basis, recently had an excellent strategic dialogue here in the United States with the Indians,” the official said.
Interestingly on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, Obama would be having six bilateral meetings - and all with Asia Pacific countries - Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, India and Australia.
“US leadership in Asia is a very important issue to the President. It’s important to our economic future. It’s important to our export goal of doubling exports. It’s important to a range of security priorities including nonproliferation, counter-terrorism and, of course, the ongoing situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the official said.
“We have, of course, important presidential travel later in the year to Asia. So I think it represents the priority that the president places on the region,” he said.
Earlier, visiting minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma too told reporters that Obama would meet Singh on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Toronto.
“Prime Minister would be travelling for the G-20, he will be meeting President Obama,” he said.
This would be the first meeting between the two leaders after Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April.