Washington: US President Barack Obama has been briefed by his top cabinet ministers who recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their visits to India and discussed the broad relationship between the two strategic partners.
Obama received the briefing on his Cabinet ministers recent trip to India when Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel met him at the White House on Tuesday and Monday respectively.
Neither of these were India specific meetings, but a routine meeting that Obama has with his key Cabinet ministers on a regular basis.
“The President after the election of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, invited him to Washington. We’re still working on locking down a date. The president does look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister at a mutually convenient time,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday.
Prime Minister Modi is expected to visit the US in September last week to attend the UN General Assembly and meet President Obama at the White House.
Referring to the recent India trip by Kerry and Hagel during which they not only met their Indian counterparts but also Modi, Earnest said they discussed the very broad relationship between the United States and India.
“Items on the agenda included national security and counter-terrorism cooperation for sure. There were also discussions about the economic ties and trade relationship that exists between India and the United States,” he said.
“When talking about climate change, this is an issue that is constantly on the agenda when there are discussions between high level members of the US government, and high level members of the Indian government,” he said.
“So, there is a rich, robust relationship between the US and India that was on display when the President (Obama) hosted Prime Minister Modi’s predecessor for a State Dinner here at the White House early in the first term of this administration. And the President looks forward to building on that relationship when he meets with Prime Minister Modi at a time sometime soon,” Earnest said.
At the time of his visit to India to co-chair the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on July 31, Kerry had said, “This is the moment to transform our strategic relationship into a historic partnership.”