PM Modi Speaks to US President Joe Biden, Discusses ‘Regional Issues, Shared Priorities’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said he spoke to United States President Joe Biden, and conveyed his best wishes for the latter’s success.

Modi said they discussed regional issues and their shared priorities, while also agreeing to further co-operation against climate change.

“President Joe Biden and I are committed to a rules-based international order. We look forward to consolidating our strategic partnership to further peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Modi said in a tweet.

Biden won the election against former US President Donald Trump last year. He took over the office formally in January in a fairly rocky transition, accompanied by allegations of voter fraud and the Capitol riot egged on by Trump.

Modi had earlier congratulated Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris after the duo took their presidential oaths in January. Congratulating them, Modi had said he looked forward to working with the new US President ‘to strengthen India-US strategic partnership’.

“My best wishes for a successful term in leading USA as we stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security,” he had said, adding that the India-US partnership was based on shared values.

“We have a substantial and multifaceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages. Committed to working with President @JoeBiden to take the India-US partnership to even greater heights,” he had said on Twitter.

The first high-level engagement between the Modi government and the Joe Biden administration took place two weeks ago, when US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and exchanged views on pressing regional and global issues including developments in the Indo-Pacific.

The defence ministry said Singh received an “introductory telephone call” from the newly-appointed US Secretary of Defence Austin and that the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the “multifaceted” defence cooperation and the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Official sources had said China figured in the talks in the larger context of geo-political developments, and in relations to the strategic interests of India and the US in the Indo-Pacific region. The essence of the conversation was that both sides wanted to maintain the upward trajectory of the strategic and defence ties to advance their common agenda of peace, prosperity and growth, the sources had said. In a tweet, Singh said the firm commitment to deepen India-US defence cooperation was reiterated during the talks.

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