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September 7, 2000
Prime minister arrives in US
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in New York on Thursday afternoon on a ten-day visit to the United States of America.
"I am feeling fine," Vajpayee responded, laughing away questions from accompanying reporters as the special Air-India aircraft touched down at the JFK international airport.
Apart from attending a dinner at the Asia Society, he has no other official engagements scheduled for Thursday. He is expected to spend the rest of the day at his suite at the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel, recovering from the 19 hour flight from Delhi.
The prime minister will address the Millennium Summit on Friday afternoon.
Asked if he would address the UN standing in view of his knee problem, the prime minister responded, "Certainly. I will deliver my speech standing."
The prime minister arrived in New York after a four-hour stopover in Zurich.
As he overflew Pakistan, Vajpayee sent the customary message of greetings to the country's military ruler from his aircraft conveying his best wishes for the progress and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
The message was simply addressed to Pervez Musharraf, Islamabad, without mentioning his curious title the military ruler has given himself -- Chief Executive.
Vajpayee's message to leader of other countries he overflew mentioned the offices they held.
General Musharraf is already in New York, but a meeting between the two is unlikely.
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
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