Paris deal: Obama ‘played’ African card to win over Modi
Washington: The then US President Barack Obama used his African-American card to win over Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the last phase of negotiations at the Paris summit in late 2015, where India was the last holdout as its officials were the toughest negotiators, says a book on his presidency.“When we got to Paris, the main holdout was India,” Obama’s then top foreign policy and national security aide for eight years Ben Rhodes writes in his book ‘The World at It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House’. The book will hit stands today. Rhodes writes that at one point of time in Paris Obama himself entered into a personal conversation with two Indian officials to convince them of the need for India to be part of the deal, but failed to cut ice with them. Then he spent nearly an hour with Modi in Paris. Nothing appeared to work till the time Obama played the African-American card, according to the book.“For nearly an hour, Modi kept underscoring the fact that he had three hundred million people with no electricity, and coal was the cheapest way to grow the Indian economy; he cared about the environment, but he had to worry about a lot of people mired in poverty. Obama went through arguments about a solar initiative we were building, the market shifts that would lower the price of clean energy,” writes Rhodes in his book.