"There are any number of reasons why the President would work closely with his counterpart, Prime Minister Modi," on strengthening India-US economic ties, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday.

Modi, who arrived in New York yesterday, is set to hold his third summit with Obama within a year next Monday after meeting investors in New York and tech leaders at Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Tesla among others.

"When Obama travelled to India in January, there was much discussion of the important economic ties between our two countries," Earnest said in response to a question about the just concluded first India-US strategic and commercial dialogue.

“Several American business leaders had also travelled to India at the same time to engage in discussions with Indian business leaders and leaders in the Indian government to discuss strengthening the ties between our two countries," he noted.

"The idea here is that by strengthening these ties, we can expand economic opportunity in both of our countries; that the more business that American businesses can do in India, the more economic opportunity that it creates back here in the US," Earnest said.

“Modi understands these kinds of dynamics and shares the President's goal of trying to deepen these ties with an eye toward expanding economic opportunity for the citizens in both the United States and India," he said.

Earnest also reiterated Obama's support for India's inclusion in a reformed Security Council, but suggested India 'take on additional responsibilities' in international matters by, for instance, playing 'a constructive role in the climate talks in Paris.'

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