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Trump told Abe he was Japan's greatest prime minister, White House says

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reaches out to shake hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump called Shinzo Abe the greatest prime minister in Japanese history during a call between the two leaders, a White House spokesman said, days after the Japanese premier said he was stepping down for health reasons.

The two men spoke at length, and Trump told Abe he had done a “fantastic job” and that the relationship between their two countries was stronger than it has ever been, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

“The President called Prime Minister Abe the greatest prime minister in Japan’s history,” Deere said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Himani Sarkar