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Amar Singh contributed millions to Clinton Foundation
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | December 19, 2008 09:23 IST
Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh [Images] contributed anywhere from $1 to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and so did industrialist Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive of ArcelorMittal, according to information released by the non-profit organisation set up by the former President Bill Clinton [Images] to fund a variety of charitable activities around the world, including combating the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
The list did not release specific figures, but only provided a range of the contributions made, and neither did it list the occupation or countries of resident of the individual donors. So, it could not be ascertained whether Singh and Mittal gave $1 million or $5 million, or somewhere in-between, as with the CII, whether it gave exactly $500,000 or a $1 million or somewhere in-between.
The figures showed that the Foundation received more than $40 million from Saudi Arabia ($10 to $25 million range) and other Gulf countries, including Kuwait and Qatar and from Oman, Brunei, Norway and Italy [Images].
Earlier, it had refused to disclose details of who the contributors were saying it wanted to maintain their confidentiality, but with President-elect Barack Obama [Images] naming former First Lady and Senator Hillary Clinton [Images] as his Secretary of State designate, a memorandum of understanding had been hammered out between the Obama and Clinton teams that the Foundation would not only release these names but also submit future Foundation activities and paid speeches by the former President to an ethics review.
Under the terms of the agreement, Clinton was also to absolve himself from the day-to-day operations of his annual Clinton Global Initiative to which several foreign governments and organisations had pledged funds and that the State Department would be kept informed about new contributors, which going forward were unlikely to include foreign governments.
The report noted that Singh, an Indian political leader had 'hosted Bill Clinton during a visit to India in 2005 and met Hillary Clinton in New York in September to discuss the Indo-US civil nuclear deal'.
The AP also said, "Some of the donors have extensive ties to Indian interests and could prove troubling to Pakistan," and noted that "tensions between the two nuclear nations are high since last month's deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai."
He said, "I have had a very close relationship with Hillary Clinton. I had not met her for long. I had a dinner appointment with her yesterday night (September 12), where we spent some quality time together for more than two hours. So, that was the sole purpose of my visit because I thought that I should seize this opportunity to come and interact with her."
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