President Barack Obama shares a good relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US is hopeful that their chemistry will be helpful in advancing Indo-US ties, a presidential aide has said.
Referring to the first meeting between the two leaders at the White House on September 29-30 last year when Modi visited the US, National Deputy Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said they have "struck up a good chemistry", which is good for the two countries.
"They had a long discussion over dinner and then the next day, in addition to the meeting, I think it was very meaningful for the President to be able to visit the Martin Luther King memorial with Prime Minister Modi, given the links between Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi," Rhodes said.
"That speaks to kind of a shared sense of struggle and shared values between the US and India, and they were able to discuss those issues," he said.
"So our hope is that the chemistry between the leaders and the personal relationship can lead to positive outcomes for our country. So it’s worth the investment in the relationship with the country, the leader, and the people of India," he told reporters.
Calling Prime Minister Modi an ambitious and forward- looking person, Rhodes said it is a good asset for bilateral relationship.
"He (Modi) has focused a lot of that energy on domestic issues and the economy there, but the fact that he wants the US-India relationship to be a part of his ambitions for India I think is a significant factor in opening the space for us to get some things done here," Rhodes said.
"In their first conversation after Prime Minister Modi&’s election, I think they noted some similarities in terms of how their campaigns kind of changed the way in which politics was practiced in their respective countries," he said.
Rhodes said Obama sees India trip "as a potentially transitional if not transformational moment for the relationship, because we have a very strong and clear indication from India’s leadership that they want to elevate our bilateral cooperation and our global cooperation."