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India and US are natural partners, says Barack Obama

New Delhi: Calling India and the US “natural partners”, US President Barack Obama said the two countries have elevated their relationship and committed themselves to a new partnership.

“We’ve elevated our ties. We’ve committed ourselves to a new partnership between our countries,” Obama told Modi after the two leaders met for more than an hour at UN headquarters in New York. “And there’s been excellent follow-through on a whole range of issues,” Obama added. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the meeting was held in a “very very positive and cordial” atmosphere.

There was a broad acknowledgement on both sides about the significant progress made in the implementation of the decisions taken in previous meetings, and of the substantial progress achieved in bilateral ties, Swarup told reporters “Both sides, President Obama in particular, said India and US were natural partners, with democracy and technology providing a very strong foundation to the already very stirring friendship between the two peoples,” the spokesperson said.

“You can see the personal chemistry between the two leaders the way the embrace happened between them,” he said. Those present at the meeting said Obama walked to Modi on the other side of the table and gave him a warm hug, informally addressing him as Modi and at times Narendra, his first name. “I deeply value our friendship and your vision and commitment for the relationship between our countries. We have achieved significant progress in our bilateral cooperation and international partnership,” Modi said in a joint media appearance with Obama.

The two leaders have earlier met in New Delhi, Washington, Burma and Brisbane. There was a reference made to the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which was something that was decided when Obama visited New Delhi in January.

Modi said this meeting and his engagement in the US demonstrate the extraordinary depth and diversity of the relationship. “Our meeting today was very productive in advancing some of our immediate priorities and also our broader strategic partnership,” he said.