A little bit of rain changed the outdoor arrival ceremony to inside so the cannon salute had to be shelved but the East Room was filled with 200 visiting dignitaries and guests as President Obama greeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. This is the first official visit of a foreign leader of the Obama presidency. The two men walked down the crosshall into the East Room and paused for their respective national anthems. President Obama welcomed Prime Minister Singh by speaking about the relationship between the United States and India and their common value of democracy. "It's the story of two economic marvels fueled by an ethic of hard work and innovation," President Obama said. "Today our nations are two global leaders, driven, not to dominate other nations, but to build a future of security and prosperity for all nations," he continued.

Prime Minister Singh addressed the challenges facing each country in the 21st century. He told those gathered in the East Room, "we should cooperate in addressing global challenges of combating terrorism, making our environment cleaner, and moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons."

The President and Prime Minister are having two bilateral meetings Tuesday morning before holding a joint press conference. President Obama and the First Lady will also welcome Prime Minister Singh and his wife back to the White House in the evening for a state dinner.

 

###