US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he was "excited" about India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that he wanted a "new relationship" with the new government.

Kerry said he wanted to "see things move in a very positive way" as he seeks to reboot the US-India relationship after a recent spate of diplomatic disputes between the world's two largest democracies.

"We want a new relationship. We want to see things move in a very positive way," Kerry told India's NDTV during a visit to capital New Delhi on Thursday.

We want a new relationship. We want to see things move in a very positive way.

John Kerry, US Secretary of State

"We are excited about Prime Minister Modi's direction and wanting to provide jobs," said Kerry in a joint interview along with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

"The things he wants to do for electricity, for the people. We think there's a lot that the United States and India can work on together."

Thaw in ties

Kerry opened his first meetings with Modi government on Thursday, including with Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, a key player in the new right-wing government.

The US and India, at odds during the Cold War, began to reconcile in the late 1990s with leaders describing the two countries as natural allies.

But ties have soured recently after numerous disputes, including charges of US surveillance against Indian politicians, a spat over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York last year and a trade rift that could scuttle a global customs deal.

Kerry will meet on Friday with Modi, a Hindu nationalist who was shunned by Washington until not long before his sweeping election victory in May.

Source: AFP