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US President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the deadlock on a long-stalled nuclear pact Sunday as they hailed a new era of friendship between the world's two largest democracies. After greeting Obama with a bear hug as he stepped off Air Force One, Modi then trumpeted the "chemistry" with his fellow leader on the first of a three-day visit to the Indian capital. Obama, whose administration treated Modi as a pariah until barely a year ago, said their new "friendship" reflected a natural affinity between the two countries. Modi meanwhile said Obama's decision to become the first US president to visit India twice while in office had huge symbolic importance.