By Jay Shankar
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the U.S., calling it an inspiration for people everywhere, and sought to build ties with the next administration.
“Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world,” Singh said in his congratulatory message to the president-elect. “Our two countries, working together to address global issues and challenges, will be an important factor for world peace, stability and progress.”
Singh is reaching out to Obama after President George W. Bush made ties with India one of the key elements of his foreign policy, pushing for the successful conclusion of a civilian nuclear energy agreement between the two nations.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, signed the agreement on Oct. 10, breaking India’s three-decade nuclear isolation and allowing U.S. companies such as General Electric Co. to sell atomic fuel and technology to India’s growing energy sector.
The agreement came after the U.S. helped India secure the right to buy equipment and fuel from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group in September.