PM Narendra Modi, Barack Obama vow to deepen strategic ties, nuclear cooperation

This was the eighth meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in two years.  

Updated: Sep 08, 2016, 16:46 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi, Barack Obama vow to deepen strategic ties, nuclear cooperation

Vientiane: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of 11th East Asia Summit in Vientiane, Laos.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the immediate priorities in the strategic bilateral partnership, including strengthening the civil nuclear cooperation and combating climate change.

The two leaders shook hands and posed for the shutterbugs before beginning the bilateral meeting in perhaps one of their last such meetings before Obama demits office in November.

After meeting the US President, Modi tweeted:

"President Obama praised Prime Minister Modi's initiatives to reform the Indian economy. In particular, the US President expressed confidence that the passage of GST will unleash significant economic activity," sources said.

During the meeting, Obama also praised Modi's vision of entrepreneurship and innovation, which he said would be "very important for a country like India".

Obama said that he had always been a friend of India and would continue to be a "strong partner of India and help in any way I can," according to sources.

Both leaders reviewed the immediate priorities in the strategic partnership. They discussed climate change issues and energy cooperation. The two leaders also reviewed progress on Indo-US collaboration in nuclear energy, solar energy, and innovation, the sources said.

The meeting was "very warm and friendly", they said.

Modi praised President Obama for his contribution to the relationship and the growing trust between the two countries.

He also invited the US President to visit India after demitting office to which Obama said he would welcome any opportunity to visit India.

On a lighter note, Obama said he and his wife Michelle were yet to see the Taj Mahal. Last year, Obama had cancelled a planned trip to the Taj Mahal, cutting short his visit to India to travel to Saudi Arabia following King Abdullah's death.

This is the eighth meeting between Modi and Obama in two years. Modi and Obama met for the first time at the White House in September 2014 when the Indian PM travelled to Washington DC at the invitation of the US President.

Modi had also exchanged views with Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China's Hangzhou on Sunday, with the US President praising the "bold policy" move on GST reform in a "difficult" global economic scenario.

(With PTI inputs)