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Kalam served as inspiration for millions of Indians: Obama

July 29, 2015 01:17 IST

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday extended his condolences on the death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, saying he was an inspiration to millions who worked to deepen space cooperation between the two countries.

"On behalf of the American people, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the people of India on the passing of former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam," Obama said in a statement.

"A scientist and statesman, Dr Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India's most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad," said Obama, who is visiting Africa.

An advocate for stronger US-India relations, Kalam worked to deepen our space cooperation, forging links with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration during a 1962 visit to the US, he said.

"His tenure as India's 11th president witnessed unprecedented growth in US-India ties.

"Suitably named 'the People's President,' Dr Kalam's humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world," Obama said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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