US President Barack Obama has said that he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have developed a ‘friendship’. In an interview,
Obama told PTI:
“Modi shared his enthusiasm for a strong partnership and we have developed a friendship and close working relationship, including our conversations on the new secure lines between our offices”.
Last year, a hotline between
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President became operational. It made PM Modi the first PM of the country and fourth in the world to get a direct hotline connection to the US President Barack Obama.
PM Narendra Modi greeting US President Barack Obama on his arrival in Delhi last year
Referring to his last visit in India that transformed ties between the two countries, Obama said:
“Since I took office, I have worked to deepen our cooperation with India across the board and I continue to believe that the relationship between India and the United States can be one of the defining partnerships of this century.”
He adds, “however, common values–two democracies, two innovative economies, two diverse societies–make us natural partners. We are linked by the ties of family–millions of Indian Americans.” The U.S. President said that both the countries continue to expand the economic partnerships that help reduce poverty and create opportunity, pushing bilateral trade to a record levels, expanding hi-tech collaborations and increasing students exchanges, including for girls and women who deserve the same education and opportunities and boys and men.
Modi and Obama during their talks over the tea in New Delhi last year
Condemning the terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot attack, Obama sent a strong message to Pakistan saying:
“It can and must take more effective action against terrorist groups operating from its soil by delegitimising, disrupting and dismantling terror networks there.”
He added that the attack was another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long. He also applauded PM Modi for his diplomacy.
He said, “both the leaders are advancing a dialogue on how to confront violent extremism and terrorism across the region.”
Further, Obama recognised that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is aware of the view that insecurity in Pakistan is a threat to its own stability and that of the region.
Appreciating Pakistan PM Sharif’s policy to target all militants, regardless of their agenda or affiliation, Obama said, “That is the right policy. Since then, we have seen Pakistan take action against several specific groups. We have also seen continued terrorism inside Pakistan such as the recent attack on the university in north west Pakistan.”
US President Obama with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif