US President Obama Calls Indian Prime Minister Singh, Expresses Condolences

President Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Singh of India aboard Air Force One, Aug. 8, 2012

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Washington, DC – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday morning called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “to express condolences for victims of the senseless attack at the gurdwara in Wisconsin, which took the lives of Indian nationals as well as Americans, and to convey the solidarity of the American people,” according to a communique from the White House.

President Obama reiterated that the Sikh community is “an essential and vibrant part of the American family,” the White House said, adding that the President also underscored that, “the incident is particularly tragic because it took place in a house of worship.”

On his part, Prime Minister Singh expressed, “his gratitude for the many messages and gestures of support from the United States, and for the prompt reaction and heroism of the local police department,” the statement noted.

“The two leaders re-affirmed their nations’ commitment to the shared values of pluralism, religious freedom, and freedom of worship,” concluded the White House statement.

The US law and order enforcement officials earlier labeled the fatal incident at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin as an act of terrorism, where seven people have been killed, including the gunman and many others wounded.

The White House in an earlier statement quoted Obama as saying, “Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded.’

“My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family,” added the statement. (IATNS) 

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