Barack Obama invites `Prime Minister of India` Narendra Modi to visit US
Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora
Washington: Respecting the mandate given by Indians, US President Barack Obama on Friday telephoned Narendra Modi and congratulated him on BJP`s "success in India`s historic election".
Ending a decade long US boycott of Modi, Obama invited him to visit Washington "to further strengthen our bilateral relationship".
As per a White House readout of the brief call: “The President called prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi today to congratulate him on the Bharatiya Janata Party`s success in India`s historic election.”
"The President noted he looks forward to working closely with Mr Modi to fulfil the extraordinary promise of the US-India strategic partnership, and they agreed to continue expanding and deepening the wide-ranging cooperation between our two democracies."
"The President invited Narendra Modi to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to further strengthen our bilateral relationship," the readout said.
Meanwhile, a statement given by the State Department aimed at setting at rest the issue of a visa for Modi, said: "The Prime Minister of India will be welcomed to the United States. As head of government, Mr Modi would be eligible for an A-1 visa."
"We congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on its victory in winning a majority of seats in India`s historic national election, which saw more voters cast their ballots freely and fairly than in any election in human history," department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Secretary of State John Kerry, in the meantime, also offered his congratulations, and looks forward to "working with the BJP on expanding our shared prosperity and security".
"We understand the next steps are for the Indian Election Commission to officially inform the President of the certified election results, and for him to appoint a prime minister.”
"Once a new government is formed, we look forward to working closely with the prime minister and the Cabinet to advance our strong bilateral partnership.”
"As President Obama said in his statement on May 12, we also congratulate the people of India on concluding their national elections and look forward to continuing our strong partnership based on shared values," Psaki said.
Soon after the call, National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote on the microblogging website Twitter that the US looks forward to working with India to continue to build a strong partnership between the two largest democracies of the world.
In 2005, the US State Department had revoked a visa that Modi had for travelling to the US on the ground of alleged human rights violations after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
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