US looks at 'reinvigorating' Indo-US ties under new Indian govt

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Washington, July 5: The US is excited about the prospect of "reinvigorating" 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, counter- terrorism, regional security and Asia Pacific region are expected to be the focus areas when Obama meets Modi this fall, which 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 on Thursday.

"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.

Obama Administration was impressed by the poll campaign of PM Modi, Rhodes said

Excited about a strong Modi government in New Delhi, the White House is eagerly looking at "reinvigorating" the India- US relationship, the top Obama aide said.

He, however, clarified that no date has yet been set for the Modi-Obama meeting.

"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 Prime Minister Modi ran. And he was not shy about expressing an ambitious view what he wants his government to do," Rhodes said when asked about the first 100 days of the new Indian government.

"He (Modi) was clear 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," Rhodes told a group of foreign journalists at a White House media round-table.

As Modi pursues his economic policies, Rhodes said, the Obama Administration will try to figure out how the two countries can work more closely together.

Increasing trade, investment and commercial ties is going to be the focus, he said.

With the Obama Administration looking at post-2014 situation in Afghanistan, India's role is going to be vital, he noted.

"As we look at post-2014 Afghanistan, India obviously has a role to play in the stability in the region," he said.

Given shared concerns about terrorism, India and the US cooperate very closely on counter-terrorism issues, Rhodes noted.

"We very much support the efforts that can be taken domestically within India to promote growth, because that would definitely benefit the United States," he said.

PTI

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