Barack Obama, other leaders congratulate Modi


barack-obama-wsUS President Barack Obama Friday night congratulated Narendra Modi for his emphatic electoral victory during a telephone call in which they discussed Indo-US strategic partnership and the global economic situation. Obama told Modi that the largest democracy in the world had given a decisive mandate. The US leader also expressed the hope that under Modi’s leadership, India would play a significant role on the global stage.

With BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi set to become the next Prime Minister, the heads of several countries , including the United States, Pakistan and the UK congratulated him on his victory and invited him to visit their country. China’s Foreign ministry and the envoys of Canada and France also expressed willingness to work together.

The Obama administration said the prime minister-elect is welcome to visit the US, which has denied him a visa since 2005 in the wake the Gujarat riots.

Hours after the results of the elections were out, the White House exuded confidence that the India-US relationship under a Modi Government would make further progress. “We congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on winning a majority of seats in this historic election. Once the government is formed, we look forward to working closely with the prime minister and the Cabinet to advance our strong bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “The prime minister of India will be welcomed to the US.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke to Modi on Friday afternoon and offered his congratulations and good wishes on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “impressive victory” in the just-concluded general elections in India, a Pakistan High Commission spokesperson said here on Friday. During his conversation, Sharif invited Modi to visit Pakistan. This is quite significant since Pakistan will be one of his foreign policy priority areas, as Modi has indicated that he is willing to work with Pakistan by picking up from where Atal Behari Vajpayee left.

China also said that it is willing to work with the new Indian government to take their bilateral strategic partnership to a new height. “China is willing to make joint efforts with the new Indian government, maintain high level exchanges, deepen cooperation in all areas and bring the China-India strategic partnership to new height,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina was the first to send a congratulatory letter to Modi. She called him a “great friend of Bangladesh” and said that the verdict was a testimony to his “dynamic, inspiring and visionary leadership”.

Congratulating him on the “resounding victory”, she said, “The decisive verdict given by the people of your great country is a strong testimony to your dynamic, inspiring and visionary leadership qualities and manifestation of the trust and confidence reposed in you by the people of the largest democracy in the world. I am delighted to see a great friend of Bangladesh leading an extremely friendly country, India, in the coming days.” Hasina’s reaching out is significant since Modi was quite vocal in his political campaign against the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and the condition of Hindus there.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also called up and congratulated him on the “election success” and said he is keen to work together.

The UK was the first among the European countries to reach out to Modi, after a decade-long boycott. In October 2012, the British government sent its envoy James Bevan to resume its engagement with the Gujarat Chief minister, who had been shunned by the international community after the Gujarat riots in 2002.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also called Modi up and invited him for a “state visit”. “Called @narendramodi a short while ago; Congratulated on BJP victory & invited for a state visit to #SriLanka,” he tweeted. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also spoke to Modi on the phone. The Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, during his telephonic conversation, said that he was looking forward to working with Modi and enhance bilateral cooperation. Canada’s High Commissioner Stewart Beck also congratulated Modi for “winning a clear majority” in India’s general elections. French ambassador Francois Richier tweeted, “This massive vote of confidence highlights the vitality of Indian democracy.” Others who called were Afghan President Hamid Karzai, PM of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani. The Indian Express

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