New Delhi, December 1: Former United States president Barack Obama on Friday said that India should cherish and nurture its large Muslim population that thinks of itself as Indian. Reflecting on the relationship he shared with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Obama, at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, said that they both focussed on India-US relations.

Here are top quotes of Barack Obama:

  • India should cherish and nurture its large Muslim population that thinks of itself as Indian.
  • India and US have much in common. Our two constitutions begin with the same three words – We the people. We share the values of pluralism.
  • We had no evidence that Pakistani government was aware of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan.
  • I am the first US president to have a daal recipe. I can cook chicken well. My chapatis are no good.
  • Politicians are more of a mirror, reflecting citizens. If there are enough communities telling them divisiveness is not what we want, they will reflect them…. If you see a politician doing things that are questionable, then as a citizen you need to question if you are encouraging it.
  • I know Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in unity of India. My goal here is not to disclose every private conversation I have. I think his (Modi’s) impulses are to recognise Indian unity. I think he firmly believes unity is necessary for the progress of the nation.
  • We worked very hard to make India a part of Nuclear Suppliers Group. But some member nations felt India was not following all the procedures. I’m sure PM Modi is working hard on it. I don’t know if China objected because of trade competition.
  • I like him (Narendra Modi). I think he has a vision for the country. I was also great friends with Dr Manmohan Singh. He laid the foundation of the modern Indian economy…. The unifying theme in both leaders (Modi and Singh) during my tenure was the focus on India-US relations.
  • After 26/11 Mumbai attacks, we were as obsessed as India with dismantling the terror network. Terrorism of any sort eventually affects everyone.