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Obama visit to ‘elevate’ India-US relationship: White House

The White House has said the Obama-Modi meeting would “elevate the nature of the relationship” between the two largest democracies of the world.

“This opportunity that the President has to go and attend (the Republic Day Parade) as the Chief Guest, really offers the opportunity to elevate the nature of our relationship,” Phil Reiner, Senior Director, National Security Council for South Asia at the White House, told PTI in an interview on the eve of Obama’s departure for India.

“In my personal opinion, this is a seminal moment and potentially a game changing opportunity for the relationship. This is a relationship in which the President has invested a great deal of time, trying to elevate the nature of our partnership,” said Reiner, who is the point person for India and South Asia in the National Security Council.

The senior White House official said during the three-day visit progress could be seen in key areas of defence and security, clean energy and climate change and nuclear co-operation.

After the President accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day, the message from the top was to seize the opportunity in not just a symbolic way but also in terms of substance, he said.

This visit offers opportunity to increase cooperation in areas like space cooperation, cancer research or intellectual property. 

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