Modi speaks to Biden; leaders look forward to further peace, security in Indo-Pacific region

·3-min read

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to US President Joe Biden on Monday and discussed a host of key issues, with the two leaders underlining the importance of working with like-minded countries to ensure a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

This was their first conversation after Biden assumed office last month.

In a tweet, Modi said that he conveyed his best wishes to the US president, and the two leaders discussed regional issues as well as shared priorities. 'We also agreed to further our cooperation against climate change,' he said.

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

According to a Prime Minister's Office statement on the telephonic conversation, Modi warmly congratulated President Biden, conveyed best wishes for his tenure, and looked forward to working closely with him to further elevate the India-US Strategic Partnership. The leaders discussed at length regional developments and the wider geo-political context, the statement said. They noted that the India-US partnership is firmly anchored in a shared commitment to democratic values and common strategic interests. Modi and Biden reiterated the importance of working with like-minded countries to ensure a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, the statement said.

Prime Minister Modi and President Biden affirmed the importance of addressing the challenge of global climate change. Modi welcomed President Biden's decision to recommit to the Paris Agreement and highlighted the ambitious targets India has set for itself in the area of renewable energy, the PMO said.

The prime minister welcomed President Biden's initiative to organise the Climate Leaders Summit in April this year and looked forward to participating in the same, according to the statement.

The prime minister also invited President Biden and Jill Biden to visit India at their earliest convenience.

Prime Minister Modi had also spoken to Biden after his electoral triumph over Donald Trump in the US polls. At that time, the two leaders had discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, while reiterating their firm commitment to the strategic bilateral partnership.

Last month, Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris took oath as first woman vice president in a historic but scaled down ceremony.

Tweeting soon after Biden's inauguration, Modi had extended best wishes for a successful term and said the two countries stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security.

Noting that the India-US partnership is based on shared values, Modi had said the two countries have a substantial and multi-faceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages.

Biden is known to be a strong proponent of closer India-US ties since his days as a senator in the 1970s and played a key role in getting the approval of the Senate for the bilateral civil nuclear deal in 2008.

The strategic and defence ties between India and the US witnessed major expansion during Barack Obama's presidency and Biden, as the vice president, had played a key role in it. PTI KR/ASK RUP