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Kerry heads to India to end relationship rut

Published on Jul 30, 2014 5:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry headed Tuesday to India on a mission to break the ice with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi and repair a rut in a once warming relationship.

For the past two decades, the world's two largest democracies have described themselves as natural allies as they share similar concerns over China's rise and Islamic extremism. But incidents including the US arrest of an Indian diplomat last year sent relations plunging to their lowest point in years.

The Hindu nationalist Modi had been treated as a pariah by Washington before he led his party to a decisive victory in April-May elections.

Ahead of his visit, Mr Kerry said that Modi's strong mandate opened up new possibilities for cooperation on issues from boosting trade to fighting climate change.

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