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The Modi-Obama chemistry

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is perhaps the first world leader who addressed the President of the United States by his first name. This shows the comfort level of the two leaders with each other. The tea diplomacy at Hyderabad House away from the public eye and the media is important to reinforce this personal relationship which the Indian Prime Minister says is important to cement the friendship between the two countries and its peoples. It is widely believed that Obama’s visit this time has pushed India and the US to reach a breakthrough on two issues holding up civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries. President Barack Obama has categorically stated that the two countries are moving towards full implementation of the civil nuclear energy deal. India and the US had signed a landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2008 but trade was stymied by India’s reluctance to pass legislation shielding suppliers from liability in the event of a nuclear accident, a deviation from international norms.

Prime Minister Modi has laid out India’s priorities in the area of climate change and global warming thereby making it very clear to the US that these are areas of no compromise when climate treatises are worked out. Modi has also categorically stated that India is committed to fighting terrorists and bringing them to justice. This should send a clear signal to Pakistan which has been unleashing its brand of terror on India. The US and India stand united in promoting democracy in Afghanistan which has been facing the brunt of terror from the Taliban, which is nurtured by Pakistan. Modi spoke of exchange of technology with the US to tackle global terror. In defence, the US will collaborate with India in strengthening maritime capabilities around the Indian Ocean which is a strategic region for Asia and the world.

For India, Obama’s visit is historic as he is the first Indian President to visit India twice in his presidency. India’s relationships with the US had touched the nadir after the Khobragade diplomatic fracas. Today the two countries look to forging ties in several areas of mutual growth.

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