Narendra Modi speaks to Joe Biden; POTUS says commitment to democracy is bedrock of India-US ties

The two leaders agreed to continuing close cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, including support for freedom of navigation and territorial integrity

Press Trust of India February 09, 2021 07:32:44 IST
Narendra Modi speaks to Joe Biden; POTUS says commitment to democracy is bedrock of India-US ties

Representational image. News18

US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a phone call on Monday set up an ambitious agenda to take the bilateral relationship to the next level.

Biden and Modi committed that the US and India will work closely together to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, renew their partnership on climate change, rebuild the global economy in a way that benefits the people of both countries, and stand together against the scourge of global terrorism, the White House said in a readout of the call.

The leaders agreed to continuing close cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, including support for freedom of navigation, territorial integrity and a stronger regional architecture through the Quad, the White House said after the first phone call that Biden had with Modi as the president of the United States.

After being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Biden so far had phone call with nine foreign leaders. Traditionally the new American president makes first phone calls to the leaders of two neighbouring countries Canada and Mexico.

Thereafter, Biden called leaders of close American allies, including Britain, France, Germany, South Korea and Australia. In between, he called Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was necessitated due to the extension of the New Start Treaty for another five years.

Modi is the first foreign leader, whom Biden has spoken with beyond neighbours and key NATO allies, reflecting on the significance his administration attaches to ties with India.

"The President underscored his desire to defend democratic institutions and norms around the world and noted that a shared commitment to democratic values is the bedrock for the US-India relationship," the White House said, adding that the two leaders resolved that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld in Burma (now Myanmar).

Biden and Modi agreed to stay in close touch on a range of global challenges and look forward to what the United States and India will achieve together for their people and for their nations, the White House said.

We have an ambitious agenda for cooperation, and you will see active engagement in the days ahead," India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, told

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