United States President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a call on Monday noted that a shared commitment to democratic values was the bedrock for US-India relationship. This was the first telephonic conversation between the two leaders since Biden took office last month.

In a press release, the White House said the two leaders agreed to work closely to fight the coronavirus pandemic, renew their partnership on climate change and defend democratic institutions and norms around the world, including in Myanmar.

Modi and Biden committed to rebuild the global economy in a way that benefits the people of both countries, and said they would “stand together against the scourge of global terrorism”.

The leaders of the world’s two biggest democracies also agreed to strengthen their nations’ partnership at a moment when both countries face strained relations with China. They “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 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 U.S.-India relationship,” the statement by the White House added. “They further resolved that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld in Burma.”

Modi wrote on Twitter that he wished Biden success as he launches his administration.

The prime minister added that he and Biden discussed regional concerns and shared priorities, and expressed commitment to a “rule-based international order”. “We look forward to consolidating our strategic partnership to further peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

Biden and Modi noted that the India-US partnership is firmly anchored in a shared commitment to democratic values and common strategic interests, a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Prime Minister welcomed President Biden’s decision to re-commit to the Paris Agreement and highlighted the ambitious targets India has set for itself in the area of renewable energy,” it added. “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.”

Modi also invited President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to visit India at their earliest convenience.