Washington DC: US President Donald Trump greeted and lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday, praising him as a “great leader and loyal friend”.

Trump was among a host of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wished Modi on his birthday and lauded him for strengthening ties with their countries.

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

“I would like to extend best wishes and a very happy 70th birthday to the Prime Minister of India, @narendramodi. Many happy returns to a GREAT LEADER and loyal friend!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Trump's tweet was posted with a photograph of him and First lady Melania Trump with Prime Minister Modi at the 'Namaste Trump' event. The two leaders had their hands raised and clenched before a 125,000-strong crowd who had gathered to welcome the US president on his first India visit at Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad in February this year.

“Thank you @POTUS @realDonaldTrump for your warm wishes. The friendship between our nations is strong and is a force for good for the entire humanity,” Modi responded in a tweet on Friday.

  Modi and Trump enjoy a "special relationship" and have been working on a number regional and global issues. They frequently talk over the phone and the countries have had an unprecedented level of co-operation even during the coronavirus pandemic.

India supplied hydroxychloroquine to the US in the early stages of the pandemic and Trump ordered ventilators to India. The two countries are also collaborating on development of vaccine and therapeutics.