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In call with PM Modi, Biden stressed desire to defend ‘democratic institutions, norms’

The two leaders agreed to continue 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 White House said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 10, 2021 3:16:36 am
This was Modi's first conversation after Biden assumed office last month.

In his first conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after being sworn in on January 20, US President Joseph R Biden on Monday stressed on his desire to “defend democratic institutions and norms” around the world, according to the White House.

“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 US-India relationship,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

It said the two leaders resolved that rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld in Myanmar.

The two leaders agreed to continue 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 White House said.

Biden and Modi committed that the US and India will work closely together to win the fight against the pandemic, renew their partnership on climate change, rebuild the global economy in a way that benefits the people of both countries, and stand together against the scourge of global terrorism, the White House said.

After being sworn in as President on January 20, Biden has so far had phone calls with nine foreign leaders. Traditionally, the new US President makes first phone calls to the leaders of two neighbouring countries: Canada and Mexico.

Thereafter, Biden called leaders of close US allies, including Britain, France, Germany, South Korea and Australia. In between, he called Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was necessitated due to extension of the New Start Treaty for another five years.

Modi is the first foreign leader Biden has spoken with beyond neighbours and key NATO allies, reflecting the significance his administration attaches to ties with India.

Biden and Modi agreed to stay in close touch on a range of global challenges and look forward to what the United States and India will achieve together for their people and for their nations, the White House said.

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