Obama makes final presidential call to Afghan, Indian leaders

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

With a day to go before he steps down as president of the United States, Barack Obama made his farewell calls to the leaders of India and Afghanistan.

The White House said that Obama spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan who was joined by Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah in separate calls made on 18 January.

During his conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama expressed gratitude for his partnership, and congratulated him on India’s upcoming 68th Republic Day anniversary, Associated Press reported.

The two leaders also recalled joint efforts of cooperation, including defence, civil nuclear energy and climate change among other matters of importance.

Obama’s conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was joined by the country’s chief executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah. During the phone call, Obama appreciated the leaders for supporting the partnership between the US and Afghanistan. He urged Ghani and Abdullah to continue working for lasting peace and stability.

In June last year, Obama and Modi vowed cooperation between the United States and India on nuclear power and climate change during a meeting at the White House. Offering Modi a warm embrace, Obama said it was his “great pleasure to welcome back my friend Prime Minister Modi to the Oval Office.”

Obama also offered high-profile backing for Modi’s bid to normalise India’s once clandestine nuclear program.

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