Obama secretary, Indian officials spar over media restrictions

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs threatened to pull President Barack Obama from a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday when Indian security attempted to restrict the number of US mediapersons allowed for the photo-op that preceeded it, a media report said.

The meeting between Obama and Manmoham Singh proceeded as planned after Indian officials relented, Fox News reported. It was arranged beforehand that eight mediapersons from the White House press pool would be admitted to the photo-op at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, but Indian officials tried to reduce the number to five just before the event.
Several US officials pushed to have all eight pool members let in, but it wasn’t until Gibbs said that he was serious about pulling Obama from the event that the whole group was admitted.

“That whole group is going in because they’re going in with me,” Gibbs insisted.
A member of the pool said at one point that Gibbs had his foot lodged in the door of Hyderabad House, the venue where the meeting was taking place, asking security officials if they intended to break his foot.

Obama’s stop in New Delhi is part of a 10-day trip to Asia focused on expanding US exports and deepening diplomatic ties.

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