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Barack Obama would want to hear about policies and reforms that Narendra Modi is pursuing in India: Ben Rhodes

Friday, 4 July 2014 - 11:45am IST | Agency: PTI

The US is excited about the prospect of "reinvigorating" the Indo-US ties under the new Indian Government and is looking forward to a meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a top White House official has said.

"Economy and trade, energy and climate change, regional security, counter-terrorism and Asia Pacific region are expected to be the focus areas when Obama meets Modi, this would also be an opportunity for the two leaders to establish a personal equation for the years to come," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said yesterday.

The White House is eagerly looking at "reinvigorating" the India-US relationship, the top Obama aide said, adding that no date has been set yet for the Modi-Obama meeting. "We are very excited about the prospect of giving new shot of energy in the US-India relationship. Having a strong Prime Minister, who is new to office, has ambitions, I think would be helpful," Rhodes said.

"The first impression is that they (Modi Government) come in (to power) with a lot of energy, with a substantial mandate and with a lot of ambition. We (Obama Administration) were impressed by the (election) campaign of Prime Minister Modi". "And he was not shy about expressing an ambitious view what he wants his government to do," he said. "He (Modi) was clearly in his conversation with the (US) President, and his conversation publicly that the primary focus of his is going to be revitalising the Indian economy, which is good for us. We very much support the efforts that can be taken domestically within India to promote growth, because that would definitely benefit the United States," the top presidential aide told reporters.

"So we see an opportunity. Whenever you have a new leader coming up with that kind of mandate, it opens up space for greater co-operation, because new items can come on the agenda, or things that have got put aside because of the election season, we can take up again," Rhodes said.

As Modi pursues his economic policies, the Obama Administration will try figure out how the two countries can work more closely together, he said. Modi is expected to meet Obama in September. "Whenever you have a new leader, part of it is forging a personal relationship, part of it is also hearing about what their program is".

"So I think, President Obama would want to hear about policies and reforms that Prime Minister Modi is pursuing in India," he said. 


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