Manmohan Singh, Obama to meet in London on April 2

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet for the first time in London on April 2 on the sidelines of the Group of 20 major economies summit on the global financial crisis.

Support TwoCircles

Besides Manmohan Singh, Obama will have bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Queen Elizabeth II, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the White House announced Wednesday.

Obama will meet Manmohan Singh and Lee on April 2, while the other bilateral meetings will be held a day earlier, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Besides bilateral issues, Manmohan Singh and Obama are expected to exchange views on how to tackle the global economic crisis, climate change and current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama administration officials have of late signalled a desire “to forge a stronger, more comprehensive relationship (with India) to meet the challenges of the 21st century” building on the transformation in relations brought about by the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

At the summit, Obama “looks forward to working in concert with the G20 to get our economy moving again,” Gibbs said expressing the hope that “an agreement on further evaluating what efforts need to be taken to meet the drop in global demand” will come out of the summit.

“I think you’ll see the President talk about – and there will be some broad agreement on a changing of the rules of the road and financial regulation,” he said.

There was already agreement among many G20 nations to look for ways at stimulating export growth that had been pulled back considerably in the global recession and how that has affected and impacted developing nations most of all, Gibbs said.

“I think the President believes that what will come out of this will be broad agreement among the G20 on the steps that we have to take to get our economy moving again,” he added.