Barack Obama calls Narendra Modi to clinch climate deal

Washington: In a bid to clinch a deal at the ongoing Paris climate conference, President Barack Obama is working the phones with calls to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders.

He spoke on the phone with Modi Tuesday "to discuss the ongoing Paris climate conference," according to a White House readout of the call.

 "Both leaders emphasized their personal commitment to secure a strong climate change agreement this week and their interest in our countries' working together to achieve a successful outcome," it said.

On behalf of the American people, Obama also accepted Modi's condolences for the loss of life in the San Bernardino shootings last week.

Besides calling Modi on Tuesday, Obama conferred by phone earlier this week with President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, New York Times cited Secretary of State John Kerry as saying in an interview on the sidelines of UN climate change talks in Paris.

India and Brazil, along with China and the US, are among the world's top producers of greenhouse gases that warm the planet, noted the Times.

"The role of the four nations in reaching a deal to curb those emissions is crucial to the success of the negotiations."

In a separate discussion with reporters on Tuesday, Kerry said he had also been working the phones to reach a deal, the Times said.

He said he spoke Tuesday with Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a country that is seen as a possible spoiler of a deal.

"He has pledged to help. I think the Saudis want an agreement," said Kerry, who also spoke Tuesday with top Chinese officials.

The US and China have jointly pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but the US has been pushing for aggressive terms requiring countries to verify their reduced emissions in a step that the Chinese see as intrusive.

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