US President Barack Obama used a secure hotline to New Delhi for the first time to wish Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a happy Diwali, the White House said Tuesday. Obama and Modi discussed upcoming G-20 and East Asia summits, as well as Paris climate talks, but also had time for an exchange of pleasantries. "Noting that the conversation represented the first use of the new secure line between the two leaders, President Obama wished the Prime Minister a happy Diwali and reaffirmed the importance of the US-India partnership," the White House said.–AFP

Diwali is the Hindu festival of light. The secure line between the two nuclear powers was agreed to in January, when Obama became the first sitting US president to visit India twice. The line seen by many in India as a sign of the country's growing importance, and US acceptance of New Delhi's once criticized nuclear program.