Indian media: Modi-Obama meeting

Mr Modi (left) and Mr Obama have pledged to improve Delhi-Washington ties Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Modi (left) and Mr Obama have pledged to improve Delhi-Washington ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with US President Barack Obama will help improve Delhi-Washington ties, papers say.

The US president hosted a dinner for Mr Modi on Monday in Washington and held official talks with the Indian leader on Tuesday.

Ties between the two countries deteriorated last year after an Indian diplomat in the US was arrested over allegations of visa fraud and underpaying her Indian maid.

The US administration allowed her to leave the country after she was granted diplomatic immunity.

"Mr Modi and Mr Obama appear to have made a fresh start in an attempt to bury old hatchets when they met for the first time over dinner on Monday in the East Wing of the White House," The Telegraph says.

The Times of India says both leaders looked prepared "to jettison all personal, bureaucratic, and diplomatic baggage to focus on elevating the overused expression of the underachieving 'strategic partnership'".

Apart from discussing issues related to terrorism, security and trade, the leaders highlighted the partnership between the two countries in a vision statement titled "Chalein Saath Saath" (Forward Together We Go) and a jointly written article in the Washington Post.

The Times of India says that the article "largely echoed the vision statement, which, while short of announcing a formal US-India alliance, is redolent of a transcendental partnership aimed at elevating the relationship to an even higher plane than it enjoys now".

Some papers, however, feel that it remains to be seen if the initial camaraderie will result in a strong working relationship.

"The question now is whether the good vibes generated in the meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Obama translate into an excellent working relationship between the two leaders," the Economic Times says.

The Deccan Chronicle notes that there have been no "big-ticket agreements or breakthroughs" but the visit has "amounted to an official clearing of the air after Mr Modi's visa issue and India's outrage at the arrest in New York last year of one of its diplomats".

The US had a visa ban imposed on Mr Modi, brought on grounds of religious intolerance, until he was elected in May this year as the prime minister.

The former chief minister of the state of Gujarat has always denied wrongdoing during riots in 2002, in which more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed.

Chinese firecrackers

In some domestic news, Indian government has decided to crack down on illegal Chinese firecrackers ahead of the upcoming festival season.

"The central government has asked the states to come down heavily on anyone selling Chinese firecrackers this Diwali as it is illegal," the Hindustan Times reports.

And finally, Indian boxing officials have complained about "unfair treatment" during an Asian Games semi-final bout on Tuesday.

South Korea's Park Ji-na was declared victorious against Indian boxer L Sarita Devi in the 60-kilogram division female boxing, the Mint newspaper reports.

The Indian team, however, claimed that Sarita Devi had dominated the fight and the result of the match was "biased".

"This is no mistake. It's a clear case of a pre-determined judgment," the paper quotes India's chief coach Blas Iglesias Fernandes as saying.

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