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Obama pledges 'close' India ties

Manmohan Singh
Mr Singh invited Mr Obama to visit India

US President-elect Barack Obama has told Indian PM Manmohan Singh that his administration wants to work with India on all important global issues.

Mr Obama called Mr Singh early on Wednesday amid speculation in the Indian media that he had "ignored" India by not calling earlier.

Mr Singh congratulated Mr Obama on his victory and said it would inspire "oppressed people" all over the world.

Mr Obama told Mr Singh that he wished to make an "early visit to India".

During the phone conversation, Mr Obama said that the US-India strategic relationship was "very important", according to a statement issued by the Indian prime minister's office.

"The prime minister said that relations between India and the United States were very good but that we could not be satisfied with the status quo," the statement added.

Ties between the two countries have been on an upswing with the recent signing of the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement by President Bush after being approved by the US Congress.

The deal ended India's nuclear isolation and recognised the world's largest democracy as the de facto sixth nuclear power.

Analysts say the nuclear agreement will bring India and the United States even closer as the once estranged democracies become more engaged on common interests in Asia and the world.



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