PM Singh a pal with whom I share bonds of trust: Obama
Countering allegations that he is "aloof", United States President Barack Obama counted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel among leaders with whom he has forged "friendships and bonds of trust".
"I wasn't in other administrations, so I didn't see the interactions between US presidents and various world leaders. But the friendships and the bonds of trust that I've been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy," Obama said in an interview to Time magazine.
Obama was responding to a remark that his style of diplomacy is criticised by some as being "very cool and aloof" and that he does not "pal around" with world leaders.
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Image: US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh participate in a joint news conference in New Delhi
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
'They have a lot of trust and confidence in me'
The president countered that saying he has close relations with leaders including Merkel, Singh, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and British Premier David Cameron.
"I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, we have a lot of trust and confidence in the president."
"We believe what he says. We believe that he'll follow through on his commitments. We think he's paying attention to our concerns and our interests," Obama said about Manmohan Singh.
Image: Obama meets Merkel at the 2011 G20 in Cannes, France
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
'US recognises rise of China, India and Brazil'
"And that's part of the reason we've been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done," Obama added.
He further said the American leadership recognises the rise of countries like China and India and Brazil.
Image: Obama guides Manmohan Singh following their joint news conference in Washington
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters