Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday described the problems being posed by some allies in the UPA as “temporary,” and was confident that they would be overcome.

Dr. Singh was replying to a query whether these problems, midway through the government's tenure, would hit development plans.

The reference was to the Trinamool Congress, which has hit out at comments by Congress Ministers in the West Bengal government and opposed the Centre's gen-next opening up on several counts.

“We have our problems but I am confident that if we have the will and determination, we will overcome these temporary problems,” Dr. Singh said at a joint press conference with Trinidad & Tobago Premier Kamla Persad Bissessar at Hyderabad House.

“Life would not be worth living if it were not beset with one problem or the other. We are a large country with great complexity and great diversity,” he said, a theme quickly picked up by Ms. Persad Bissessar, who helped relax the normally staid atmosphere at such interactions.

“Life without challenges would be very boring. I am sure challenges will be overcome,” she interjected even as Dr. Singh was winding up his reply. Her relaxed demeanour and extempore opening statement encouraged Dr. Singh to make observations after the interaction ended.

Earlier, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of this tiny Caribbean country in India's quest for hydrocarbons.

“There will be a substantial requirement, which can be met by import of commercial energy. Trinidad & Tobago can do a lot of things in this regard….we need LNG and oil…we will explore ways and means to find out how cooperation can be expanded for future benefit of both countries.”

The two sides signed five MoUs, which the Prime Minister described as building blocks for the future and a good sign, but wanted both sides to ensure their full implementation.

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