Biden wants to strengthen US-India strategic partnership alongside Harris.
As President-elect Joe Biden expressed a desire to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership “alongside” his deputy Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed her election as a source of “great pride and inspiration.”
Biden conveyed his desire to build better relations with India in a phone call to Modi Tuesday even as President Donald Trump has refused to concede defeat. Modi and several other foreign leaders congratulated Biden last week recognizing him as president-elect.
Others who have congratulated Biden include British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden thanked Modi “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,” according to a readout of the conversation.
Biden, it said, “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.”
Modi later tweeted that he had spoken to Biden, writing, “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.”
He also hailed Harris, the first person of Indian descent to be elected US Vice President as a source of “great pride and inspiration” for the Indian American community who are a tremendous source of strength for Indo-US relations.
“I also conveyed warm congratulations for VP-elect @KamalaHarris,” Modi tweeted Tuesday.
“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.”
Biden also spoke on Tuesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who like Modi is considered close to Trump.
Among the first foreign leaders to recognize Biden as the winner of the Nov 3 presidential election, Modi had recalled Biden’s contribution as the vice president “to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable.”
“I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights,” he wrote in his congratulatory tweet.
Biden met Modi during his visit to Washington in 2014 and co-hosted along with then-Secretary of State John Kerry a luncheon in his honor.