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Donald Trump congratulates Narendra Modi, Angela Merkel on election victories

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-03-2017 AFP

Washington: US President Donald Trump congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a surprise local election win that bolstered her re-election bid. Trump also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has chosen a controversial firebrand leader, Yogi Adityanath, to head Uttar Pradesh where the BJP won a thumping majority earlier this month.

The White House said Trump and Merkel spoke by phone after the tiny south-western state of Saarland backed Merkel in a vote Sunday. The vote is seen as a positive sign for Merkel who in six months will ask Germans to give her a fourth term. Earlier this month, stark differences between Trump and Merkel were on full display during a tense visit to the White House.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won an absolute majority in Uttar Pradesh, home to 220 million people and seen as a bellwether of national politics.

“The president spoke with Chancellor Merkel and the Indian prime minister today to congratulate them on their party’s success in recent elections,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

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