News / USA

Obama, Singh Reaffirm Close Ties, Discuss Syria, Iran

President Barack Obama shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office of the White House, Sept. 27, 2013.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office of the White House, Sept. 27, 2013.
At the White House Friday, President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed global issues including Syria and Iran, and the U.S.-India relationship.  

Including a visit by Singh in 2009, and talks during Obama's visit to India in 2010, Friday's meeting was the third formal summit for the two leaders.

They have worked to strengthen economic and trade ties and ensure progress under the 2008 U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement that paved the way for full civil nuclear cooperation.  At this meeting they also covered counterterrorism cooperation and global issues, and diplomatic efforts for a U.N. Security Council resolution to ensure that Syria's chemical weapons are removed and destroyed.

Obama called these efforts a potential victory.

"The fact that we now have a framework that will be voted on perhaps as soon as today, perhaps over the weekend or Monday that would be legally binding, that would be verifiable and enforceable, where there would be consequences for Syria's failure to meet what has been set forth in this resolution, I think is a potentially huge victory for the international community," he said.

Obama said he is hopeful, but concerns remain about Syrian compliance and about technical issues of removing chemical weapons while Syria's civil war continues.

Singh complimented Obama "for giving diplomacy yet another chance."  He also mentioned talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations over its nuclear program, saying India has a strong interest in stability in West Asia and the Middle East.

On U.S.-India issues, Obama referred to "enormous progress" on civil nuclear power and pointed to a recent deal between the Westinghouse company and India's nuclear power company.  

But neither spoke in any detail about this, nor was there mention of frustrations in the U.S. business community about market access issues, or debate in India about details of a nuclear liability law approved in 2010.

Obama said India and the U.S. have a shared interest in making sure Afghanistan "continues on its path to a peaceful democratic country."

He thanked Singh for "consistent interest" in improving cooperation with Pakistan, but the Indian leader spoke about India's concerns regarding Pakistan.

"I explained to President Obama the difficulties that we face given the fact that the epicenter of terror still remains focused in Pakistan, and I look forward to meeting with President Nawaz Sharif even though the expectations have to be toned down, given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent," Singh said.

The White House announced this past week that Obama will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif next month.

Singh thanked Obama for "all he has done to strengthen and deepen cooperation," adding the president understands India's struggle to rid itself of poverty, ignorance and disease still afflicting millions.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs