US President elect Joe Biden called Prime Minister Modi and told him that he wants to strengthen and expand relations between their countries alongside Kamala Harris. Working closely on the Covid-19 pandemic figured in their phone call on Tuesday, Biden`s transition organisation`s readout of the conversation said.
“The President-elect thanked the Prime Minister for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership alongside the first Vice President of South Asian descent” Kamala Harris, according to the readout.
“The President-elect noted that he looks forward to working closely with the Prime Minister on shared global challenges, including containing Covid-19 and defending against future health crises, tackling the threat of climate change, launching the global economic recovery, strengthening democracy at home and abroad, and maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” it added.
However, the readout didn’t mention anything about cooperation in counter-terrorism. The readout mentions maintaining a secure Indo-Pacific, which was the centrepiece of President Donald Trump`s administration`s strategic involvement with India.
Modi was among the first leaders to recognise Biden as the winner of the presidential election that is still being questioned by Trump and votes are being counted. He will take over the President of the United States in January.
Modi recalled in his congratulatory tweet that Biden`s contribution as the vice president “to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable.” He added, “I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”
Biden has met Modi during his visit to Washington in 2014 and co-hosted along with then-Secretary of State John Kerry a luncheon in his honour.
At the luncheon, Biden had said, “You campaigned on some of the very goals we hope to achieve in this relationship: greater investment in India`s economy, a modernized defence sector, inclusive growth for both of our peoples. And your support for economic reform paves the way for the expansion of our nearly $100 billion in trade on a yearly basis.”