WASHINGTON: As India-US ties grow over common issues including trade and terrorism, Trump administration's latest statement on Narendra Modi is bound to make the Indian Prime Minister smile.
"The relationship with Modi is his (Donald Trump) relationship with Modi. He likes (him). You know he talks about other leaders too? The way in which he talks about a few other leaders that he just likes and gets along with, Modi is one of them," said Raj Shah Raj Shah, the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary.
Shah is the highest-ranking Indian-American ever in the White House press wing.
"I think, he (Trump) was impressed with Prime Minister Modi and you know I can't speak too much further than that, but you have a situation where they like each other. The fundamentals of the relationship are set for a kind of a rising tide rising between the two countries," he said.
On Monday, the two leaders held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Manila. Briefing the press, PM Modi said that the relationship between India and US relationship growing stronger and better. The talks between the leaders of two largest democracies of the world included discussions on regional security issues, trade and economy, terrorism.
"They just get along," said Shah.
PM Modi and Trump met for the first time in June, but they have spoken on several occasions after the later was elected as the US President.
"India is a natural ally of the United States, because of the shared commitment to democracy and to counterterrorism, and because the region is so vital to the US security," added Shah.
Earlier in June, Trump had heaped praises on PM Modi as they began their first bilateral meeting at the White House.
On China, Shah said India-US has a lot more in common than US-China.
"I think it's moved from security issues now toward economic issues in many ways - trade and energy exports, which have expanded to India in recent months actually, and a lot of regional security issues not just kind of global terrorism. There's democracy promotion in the area," he said.
"This among other things also includes helping countries and in that region fighting terrorism. For instance, India is helping Philippines in some of the counter-terrorism issues," he added.
"So, this relationship has a great deal of potential and we are very excited about it," Shah said.
With PTI inputs