WASHINGTON: Under siege from his critics for perceived rise in intolerance in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi can always bank on his friend ‘Barack’. In lush praise which is set to uplift Mr Modi’s spirits, the White House has said that President Obama believes that the Indian leader has a clear understanding of the India-US relationship and a clear vision for where he wants to take India.
President Barack Obama “certainly does respect Prime Minister Modi and has appreciation for his skills and abilities as a politician,” the White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters on December 2 when asked about the relationship between the two leaders. “He also is somebody who is given the very difficult challenge of sitting atop the world’s largest democracy – that’s not easy work, and the President of the United States has special insight into how difficult it is,” Mr Earnest added.
Mr Obama, who met Mr Modi for the sixth time in Paris during the climate change summit, has found Mr Modi to be somebody who is honest and direct, according to Mr Earnest. He is “somebody who has good command of the facts; somebody who has a clear understanding of the issues that confront his country and our relationship,” Mr Earnest added.
And here is a laudatory testimonial to Mr Modi, whose partly believes he has been a victim of maximum intolerance that shows that the Modi-Obama chemistry is for real. “He is also somebody that has a clear vision for where he wants to take his country. And that makes him not just an effective politician but an effective Prime Minister,” said the spokesperson.
Mr Earnest emphasised that Mr Obama has had the opportunity to consult with Mr Modi on a number of occasions. “And I think that isn’t just a testament to their good working relationship — it actually is a testament to the important issues that are at stake between our two countries,” Mr Earnest said.
“And the ability of the leaders of our two countries to work through those issues and to advance our shared interests is a good thing, it’s a good thing for the world, it’s also a good thing for the citizens of our two countries.”
Answering a question on whether Mr Obama had invited Mr Modi for a seventh meeting early next year at the White House, Mr Earnest said, “he was not aware of any meetings that are on the agenda at this point, but he certainly wouldn’t rule out another visit by Mr Modi before the end of next year.”
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