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Obama calls PM, briefs him on Af-Pak, climate change

Last updated on: December 01, 2009 12:22 IST

Less than a week after they met in Washington, DC, United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and discussed his administration's Af-Pak policy and climate change with him.

Apart from Dr Singh, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pak President Asif Ali Zardari,  German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Chinese President Hu Jintao are among those to be called up by Obama.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Monday had said that Obama would be making several calls to world leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday to brief them on the administration's new Af-Pak policy, which would be announced in his address to the nation on Tuesday.

Singh told Obama that India would play a constructive role in the negotiations and looked forward to a successful outcome in Copenhagen.

Obama's call to Singh takes place close on the heels of the two leaders' meeting in Washington during which the Afghan issue was discussed prominently. Singh had said it was important for all major regional and international players to put their weight behind the Afghan government.

Obama had highlighted the importance of tackling violence and extremism emanating from the region "in a serious way".
India feels that due to the continued threat posed by terrorism emanating from Afghanistan, the world community should stay engaged there and not think about "pre-mature exit" as it could embolden terrorists.

Singh is of the view that India and the US needed to do more in cooperation on counter-terrorism.

"I sincerely hope that the world community will have the wisdom to stay engaged in that process and premature talk of exit would only embolden the terrorist elements who are out to destabilise not only our part of the world but civilized world everywhere," Singh said in Washington last week.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran said contrary to the developed countries'  action, India has already begun unconditional implementation of its action plan to tackle global warming.

"Developed countries are making their actions conditional on what others are doing. We have national action plan whose implementation is not conditional on anyone giving us a penny, including technological aspects," Saran said yesterday.

A Correspondent