Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to United States President-elect Joe Biden and congratulated him on winning the presidential elections. The two leaders also discussed the coronavirus crisis, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
This was the first conversation between Modi and Biden since his victory in the US polls. Modi had tweeted a congratulatory message to the Democrat earlier this month.
“Spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden on phone to congratulate him,” the prime minister tweeted. “We reiterated our firm commitment to the Indo-US strategic partnership and discussed our shared priorities and concerns – Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region.”
Modi also congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who made history by becoming the first woman, and the first person of Jamaican and Indian heritage to occupy the top post. “I also conveyed warm congratulations for VP-elect Kamala Harris,” Modi said. “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.”
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also expressed confidence about India-US relations expanding under Biden’s administration, PTI reported.
He said that Biden was “no stranger” to the bilateral ties. “He [Biden] is very much part of this period when Indo-American relations underwent a radical transformation, which I reasonably date back to [Bill] Clinton’s visit,” Jaishankar said.
The foreign minister added: “I am very confident that we will pick up where we left off, we have done that over the last four administrations.”
Biden is known to be a supporter of better bilateral ties between India and US since his term as a senator in the 1970s. He had an important role in getting the Senate’s approval for the civil nuclear deal in 2008, according to PTI.
The Democrat has been projected to get 306 electoral votes in US elections, while incumbent President Trump would bag 232. Trump, however, has refused to concede his loss.
Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president from 2008 to 2016, and had sought the Democratic nomination twice before – in 1988 and 2008. The 77-year-old is a six-time senator from Delaware. He is the oldest US president in history at 77.