Biden Calls PM, Both Reiterate Commitment To Strategic India-US Ties

Earlier this month PM Modi joined other world leaders, including those of Canada, the United Kingdom and France, to congratulate Mr Biden and Ms Harris on their victory

Prime Minister Modi said he looked forward to working with US President-elect Joe Biden (File)

Highlights

  • "Spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden on phone," PM tweeted last night
  • The two leaders also discussed Covid-19 pandemic, climate change
  • Mr Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US President in January
New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday to congratulate him on his win and reiterate India's firm commitment to its strategic partnership with the United States. In the phone call from Mr Biden, PM Modi also offered his congratulations to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, saying that her success was a matter of pride for the Indian-American community.

"Spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden on phone to congratulate him. We reiterated our firm commitment to the Indo-US strategic partnership and discussed our shared priorities and concerns - the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region," the Prime Minister tweeted at around midnight on Tuesday.

"I also conveyed warm congratulations for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Her success is a matter of great pride and inspiration for members of the vibrant Indian-American community, who are a tremendous source of strength for Indo-US relations," PM Modi added.

The US statement on the phone call also talked about "strengthening democracy at home and abroad".

"The president-elect noted that he looks forward to working closely with the prime minister on shared global challenges, including containing COVID-19 and defending against future health crises, tackling the threat of climate change, launching the global economic recovery, strengthening democracy at home and abroad, and maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region," said a statement from Mr Biden's transition team.

Mr Biden thanked PM Modi for his congratulations and "expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership alongside the first vice president of South Asian descent," said the readout of the call.

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar talked up positive ties with the incoming Biden administration, noting that the Democrat is "not a stranger" to India.

Apart from working together to combat terrorism and climate change, and defeat the Covid pandemic, Mr Biden is expected to support India's claim to a permanent UN Security Council seat.

According to a policy paper released during the election, the President-elect feels "no common global challenge can be solved without India and the US working as responsible partners".

Mr Biden rose to India's defence in October, before the election began, after Donald Trump referred to "filthy air" in India as he defended his decision to pull out of the Paris accord.

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"It's not how you talk about friends - and it's not how you solve global challenges like climate change," he tweeted. He later said that his government would focus on working with India to reduce carbon emissions and secure clean and renewable sources of energy.

Joseph Biden, 77, defeated Donald Trump, 74, in a bitterly-fought presidential election that attracted a record number of Americans voters. Mr Biden gathered 306 electoral college votes (he needed 270 to win) to Mr Trump's 232.

Mr Trump has since lashed out on social media with unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and miscounting. Several of his tweets have since been flagged by Twitter as being "disputed".

Hours after Mr Biden's win was called by US media networks, Prime Minister Modi joined other world leaders, including the Prime Ministers of Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron, in tweeting his congratulations.

He also congratulated Ms Harris, calling her success as "pathbreaking". "I am confident that vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership," he said.

Mr Biden is expected to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.