Modi, Obama write first joint editorial

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Washington, New York: For the first time, US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have collaborated digitally to write a joint editorial to be published in a US newspaper on Wednesday, 1 October. After using technology successfully in their respective election campaigns, the two leaders have interacted on a pioneering effort such as this, setting a new precedent. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin disclosed the joint editorial would be published tomorrow- Wednesday in an American daily, but officials on both sides have been very secretive about the contents of the joint op-ed and have not even disclosed the name of the newspaper that will publish it.

The Hindu reports that asked how the two leaders collaborated to write the joint editorial, the spokesman said, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama are great votaries of digital diplomacy and therefore, it is very easy to digitally interact and through electronic means and it (editorial) was only finalised after the PM’s arrival in Washington.

Asked if both the leaders were so active digitally why there was no exchange between the two on cyber space, he said “wait and watch.”

He also said that this was for the first time that an Indian leader has ventured on the path of a joint editorial.

The Prime Minister wrote an editorial in Wall Street Journal before he headed to the US for his first visit since taking power in May.

Meanwhile, Mr. Modi created quite a flutter in New York when he agreed to an off-record meeting with  Washington-based Indian journalists on Saturday, 27 September. The journalists were pleasantly surprised after being informed that the Prime Minister would meet them for an off-record interaction at the New York Palace Hotel. The group of 11 journalists was asked to leave behind phones, notebooks and pens, and to not use anything they heard in any form of writing. But word is out that during the interaction, the PM himself asked many questions and admitted that he disliked being confronted by microphone-wielding TV journalists.

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