PM Modi, Obama speak on hotline for the first time

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 11, 2015 09:39 IST
A file photo shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Barack Obama. (HT File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama on Tuesday discussed bilateral ties and upcoming multilateral engagements in their first conversation on the recently established hotline.

The hotline, a secure phone line for the two leaders to talk at a short notice, was announced in January when Obama traveled to India to be chief guest at the Republic Day parade.

The line went operational in August, representing a minor milestone as some lines have taken much longer to come through, specially the one between the US and China.

Modi tweeted after the call, “A short while ago @POTUS (Obama’s twitter handle, short for President of the United States) called. We exchanged Diwali greetings. This was our first conversation through the newly-established hotline.”

He added, in another tweet, “President Obama & I look forward to meeting in Turkey during the G20 Summit.

In Washington DC, the White House said in a statement, “Noting that the conversation represented the first use of the new secure line between the two leaders, President Obama wished the Prime Minister a happy Diwali and reaffirmed the importance of the US-India partnership in addressing both regional and global issues.”

They also exchanged their views on developments in South Asia and discussed “the progress they have made on shared economic and security priorities, including implementation of the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and addressing the global challenge of climate change”.

They discussed upcoming meeting of the G-20, as tweeted by Modi, and the climate change talks next month in Paris.

Climate change, in fact, was the main topic of discussion the last time the two leaders met, here in the US on the sidelines of the UN general assembly meetings.

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