US President Donald Trump congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a surprise local election win that bolstered her reelection bid.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The White House said the two leaders spoke by phone after the tiny southwestern state of Saarland backed Merkel in a vote Sunday.

The vote is seen as a positive sign for Merkel who in six months will ask Germans to give her a fourth term.

Earlier this month stark differences between Trump and Merkel were on full display during a tense visit to the White House.

Trump also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose right-wing party Saturday picked a controversial firebrand leader to head India’s most populous state.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won an absolute majority in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, home to 220 million people and seen as a bellwether of national politics.

“The president spoke with Chancellor Merkel and the Indian Prime Minister today to congratulate them on their party’s success in recent elections,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.


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