They are planting trees together, drinking tea, giving bear hugs and announcing “breakthrough” nuclear deals.
To put it briefly, President Barack Obama is having the time of his life with his new friend, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who publicly declared this budding relationship over the weekend.
“Barack and I are friends, we talk on the phone, crack jokes. Our friendship has brought our countries and our people closer,” Modi said during a press conference on Sunday.
Reciprocating his feelings, Obama also said that he was looking forward to “working together” with India on what is being billed a "new journey" of co-operation.
However, just a year ago, the situation had been quite different between the two world leaders.
For example, Modi wasn’t even allowed to enter the U.S. for almost nine years – primarily because he was widely accused of not just condoning but even inciting the 2002 riots in the state of Gujarat when more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
While he has consistently denied the reports and has not been found guilty of the alleged crimes, there has been no “clean chit” for Modi.
But all of this didn’t seem to be a problem for Obama who completely disregarded the controversial human rights past of the Indian leader.
“In addition to a personal friendship that we’ve been able to build in a short amount of time, we’re also reflecting the warmth and affection we’ve created between the Indian people and the Americans,” Obama said. “That affection can then be translated into great specific actions, and we’ve seen that here today.”
With the number of business and nuclear deals both the leaders have announced during this single meeting in Delhi – and the fact that Modi and Obama developed a good rapport in Washington last fall – it’s pretty understandable why Modi’s checkered past doesn’t matter to the U.S. anymore.