Hotline between PM Modi, US President Obama becomes operatio


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Hotline between PM Modi, US President Obama becomes operational


Hotlines between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama and their national security advisors were recently made operational but they have not been used so far, a top American official has said.

With this India becomes only the fourth country– after Russia, Great Britain and China – with which the US has a hotline.

"It (hotline has) just recently been established," Peter R Lavoy, special assistant to US President and senior director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council of the White House, told PTI.

"It (hotline) has not been used so far," he said when asked if the two leaders have used this latest tool of secure communication.

The decision for setting up the Obama-Modi hotline was made during the US president's visit to New Delhi to attend Republic Day celebrations on January 26 as the chief guest.

"Hotline has connotation of some crisis management phone or system that was used during the cold war to defuse crisis. That's not what we have," Lavoy explained.

"This is a secure line between two very very close partners so that they can exchange views at the heads of state views and co-ordinate approaches to solving real problems," said the top White House official.

For India this is the first hotline at the level of head of state.

In 2004, India and Pakistan agreed to establish hotlines at the level of foreign secretaries, and in 2010 New Delhi and Beijing announced to establish a hotline at the foreign minister level.

According to publicly available information the hotline between India and Pakistan was established with the help of the US military.

The India-China hotline is yet to become operational.

The establishment of a hotline between leaders of the two largest democracies of the world is part of efforts of Obama and Modi to increase the frequency of level of communication and frequent discussion between them on key bilateral, regional and global issues.

At a joint press meet with Obama in New Delhi on January 25, after their meeting, Modi said the two leaders have decided to give this critical partnership its due trust and sustained attention.

"For this, we have agreed that India and the United States must [have] regular summits at greater frequency. And we also established hotlines between myself and Barack and our national security advisors," Modi told reporters.

During their New Delhi meeting the two leaders also decided to meet frequently. The two are most likely to meet in New York late September when Modi comes to the US to attend the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.