India, US in harmony; ties to improve: PM Modi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 21, 2014 18:01 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed hope about better India-US ties ahead of his visit to the country later this month.

In an interview to CNN, Modi also talked about his vision for a new India, its neighbours and his development agenda, among other issues.

A part of the interview - in which Modi has said "Muslims will live and die for India" - had hogged the headlines recently. The full interview was aired on CNN on Sunday.

Talking about China, a country with which India is locked in border disputes despite the advancement of trade engagements, Modi said, "China must not live in isolation, it must engage with neighbours."

Censorship in China on freedom of speech under the Communist Party's rule has time and again become a matter of debate in the international media; so have allegations over the country's secrecy policy.

"We should have faith that China will accept global laws," Modi said in the interview that came close on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India.

On the United States, the Prime Minister said it had many similarities with India. When asked if it was possible for the two countries to develop a strategic alliance despite past glitches, Modi answered in affirmative.

"I have a one-word answer and with great confidence I say 'Yes'," CNN-IBN quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

Modi, who was denied a visa in 2005 by the US in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots three years before, added, "America has absorbed people from around the world and there is an Indian in every part of the world."

He stressed the bonding between the countries in the areas of history and culture.

"The good thing is the mood of both Delhi and Washington is in harmony with this understanding, both sides have played a role in this."

The ties between Modi and the US have shown signs of improvement, with Washington cosying up to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader after his landslide election victory in May.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel and vice-president Joe Biden had visited India after the BJP's election win.

In the interview, Modi also talked about women's empowerment, echoing his Independence Day speech that had talked about the welfare of the girl child.

"Girl child education is important for the empowerment and development of the country," he said.

Signing off, Modi said he loved to work and making new plans gave him pleasure.

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