NEW YORK: Countering allegations that he is “aloof”, the US President, Mr Barack Obama counted the India’s Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the German Chancellor, Ms Angela Merkel among leaders with whom he has forged “friendships and bonds of trust”.
“I wasn’t in other administrations, so I didn’t see the interactions between US Presidents and various world leaders.
“But the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy,” Mr Obama said.
Mr Obama was responding to a remark that his style of diplomacy is criticised by some as being “very cool and aloof” and that he does not “pal around” with world leaders.
The President countered that saying he has close relations with leaders including Mr Merkel, Dr Singh, the South Korean President, Mr Lee Myung-bak, the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayip Erdogan and the British Premier, Mr David Cameron.
“I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, we have a lot of trust and confidence in the President.
“We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests.
“And that’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done,” Mr Obama added. He further said the American leadership recognises the rise of countries like China and India and Brazil.