Putin, Johnson, Merkel, other world leaders greet PM Modi on his 70th birthday

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Moscow/London, Sep 17 (PTI) Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the world leaders who extended greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday on Thursday and lauded his personal contribution to the strengthening of ties with their countries.

Prime Minister Modi, born on September 17 in 1950, turned 70 on Thursday.

In a letter to Modi, Putin praised him and said his activity as India's head of the government has earned him the well-deserved respect of compatriots and high international prestige.

'It is hard to overestimate your personal contribution to the strengthening of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries,' Putin noted in the letter uploaded on the website of the Russian Embassy in New Delhi.

“From the bottom of my heart, I wish you good health, happiness, well-being and every success,' he added.

British Prime Minister Johnson took to Twitter to wish “friend” Modi on his birthday, expressing the hope that the two leaders would meet soon.

'Very best wishes to my friend @NarendraModi on his 70th birthday. I hope to see you soon,” he said.

The two leaders last met on the sidelines of the multilateral G7 summit in Biarritz, France, last year.

Merkel wrote a letter to Modi, greeting him on his birthday.

'Please accept my warmest congratulations on the occasion of your 70th birthday. I am happy to take this opportunity to thank you for our trustful and constructive cooperation,” Merkel said.

Merkel vowed to work together to overcome the challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.

'The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the cohesion of the international community. Only if we work together will we manage to overcome this huge challenge. With that in mind, I look forward to continuing our cooperation for the benefit of the countries and their people,” she said in her letter, which was shared by the Prime Minister's Office on its Twitter handle.

She wished Modi great health and success during the current unusual times.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also greeted his 'good friend' Modi. 'My warmest birthday wishes to my good friend Prime Minister of India @narendramodi,' he tweeted from his official handle.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also extended birthday greetings to Prime Minister Modi.

'Happy Birthday PM Shri @narendramodi! I wish you a blessed future with good health on this special day...,” Gotabaya tweeted.

'Warm wishes to my good friend, PM @narendramodi as you celebrate another year of your life. I wish you success and the best of health,” Mahinda said in a tweet.

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli also greeted Prime Minister Modi and vowed to continue to work closely together towards strengthening bilateral relations.

'Warm greetings to Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji on the auspicious occasion of your birthday. I wish you good health and happiness. We will continue working closely together to further strengthen relations between our two countries,' Oli wrote in an early morning tweet.

Modi thanked Oli and said he looks forward to the further strengthening of India-Nepal ties, based on the two neighbour's shared culture and history.

Extending greetings to Prime Minister Modi, his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering expressed confidence that India will achieve greater transformation under his leadership.

'Under your leadership, we are confident that India will continue to achieve even greater transformation,' he said.

Responding to the birthday greetings, Modi thanked the Bhutanese prime minister for his warm good wishes and prayers.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison greeted PM Modi and hoped the relations between the two countries will reach new heights in the coming year.

'My dear friend @narendramodi, greetings on your birthday. I'm sure our Australia-India relations will reach new heights in the coming year. May you have a delightful birthday. See you soon!' he tweeted in Hindi and English.

Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar, Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel also extended birthday greetings to Prime Minister Modi.

Envoys of several countries based in New Delhi, including Israeli envoy Ron Malka and Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev, also wished Prime Minister Modi on his birthday.

'Your profile as an extraordinary politician and statesman is widely recognized in India and the world. In Russia your leadership is seen through the prism of forward-looking contribution to the national journey of achieving sustainable development and stability,' Kudashev said in his message on Prime Minister Modi's birthday.

The Singaporean mission to India wished the prime minister and shared his photo with Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong in Little India in Singapore during his 2015 visit. PTI TEAM ZH ZH

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