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PM Modi speaks with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, affirms importance of ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Joe Biden in Washington DC. File photo  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday evening (India time).

“Spoke to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on phone to congratulate him. We reiterated our firm commitment to the Indo-U.S. strategic partnership and discussed our shared priorities and concerns, COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr. Modi wrote on Twitter.

In a statement,the MEA said that Mr. Modi described Mr.Biden's election was "a testament to the strength and resilience of democratic traditions in the United States."

Mr Modi also congratulated Vice President Elect Kamala Harris in a separate message , saying her election was a matter of pride for the Indian-American community. Ms Harris’s mother had immigrated to the U.S. from Chennai [ then Madras] and her father, from Jamaica.

During the conversation, Mr. Modi also recalled previous meetings with Mr. Biden, when he visited India in 2014 as Vice President,and in 2016,when he chaired the Joint Session of the U.S. Congress that the Prime Minister had addressed during his 2016 visit to the U.S.

Biden's team thanks PM

Mr Biden’s Presidential transition team also released a readout of the call with Mr Modi.

“The President-elect thanked the Prime Mminister for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the U.S.-India strategic partnership alongside the first vice president of South Asian descent,” the readout said.

“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,” Mr. Biden’s team said.

Mr Biden a had phone calls with the leaders of Israel, Chile and South Africa on Tuesday, as per a statement from his presidential transition team.

Mr. Modi had already sent a congratulatory message via Twitter to Mr. Biden last week on his “spectacular victory” in the U.S. elections which concluded on November 3. President Donald Trump has made sweeping allegations of fraud in the elections — not backed by adequate evidence — and has consequently not conceded the election.

Mr. Modi and President Donald Trump shared a publicly close relationship, appearing together at rallies in Houston and Ahmedabad in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The Trump campaign used this bonhomie in its campaign messaging to woo Indian American voters. A number of other leaders in the Indo-Pacific region and from Europe had spoken to Mr. Biden this week as per his presidential transition team.

The India-U.S. relationship has had broad support on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. with Democrats and Republicans bringing different challenges and opportunities for the relationship in the spheres of democracy and human rights, regional policy, trade and immigration.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 11:54:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-speaks-with-biden-affirms-importance-of-ties/article33120762.ece

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