Clintons meet PM Narendra Modi, praise clean Ganga effort

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his maiden five-day visit to the US, met former US president Bill Clinton and his wife and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton here on Monday.

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his maiden five-day visit to the US, met former US president Bill Clinton and his wife and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton here on Monday.

Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton today called on PM Modi here and discussed Indo-US relations.

The Clinton couple had a 45-minute meeting with PM Modi. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also present during the meeting. 

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin posted a picture on micro-blogging website Twitter, saying Hillary Clinton and Sushma Swaraj shared a hug.

“Both the Prime Minister and Swaraj warmly welcomed the Clintons and wished them on becoming grandparents. Swaraj warmly hugged Hillary,” Akbaruddin tweeted. 

"Your efforts at cleaning the Ganga will send a message to others in Asia," Clinton added.

Chelsea, the daughter of Bill and former Secretary of State Hillary, gave birth to daughter Charlotte last week.

Known for their love for India, Bill and Hillary were expected to discuss Indo-US engagements and the priorities of the new government in this regard.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of reports that Hillary may contest the US Presidential elections in 2016. 

Hillary Clinton, who was an active US secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first stint as president, is being touted as a 2016 US presidential hopeful, though she has not revealed her cards yet.

Later tonight, a meeting is scheduled between PM Narendra Modi and ​US Prez Barack Obama for the first. They will hold bilateral talks tomorrow at the White House, reports said.

It is expected that PM Modi will discuss with Obama that how Indo-US ties can be taken to a "new level" in the interest of the two countries as well as of the world.

Earlier, Modi had also called the US as India's "vital partner" for its national development.

Ahead of their first formal meeting tomorrow, Obama will host a private dinner for Modi at the White House tonight. To be attended by a small group of invitees, the dinner hosted by Obama would be held in Blue Room of the White House.

The Blue Room is used for receptions and receiving lines, and is occasionally set for small dinners. The President would be joined by the Vice President, Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice among others for the dinner.

Modi would be accompanied by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Indian Ambassador to the US S Jaishankar among others. Modi, who is on navaratra fast, would not eat.

Obama is hosting this rare dinner for the Prime Minister as a mark of respect of the visiting dignitaries and also to acquaint and establish a personal rapport with Modi.

With agency inputs

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