PM Narendra Modi invites US President Biden, First Lady to visit India

New Delhi: In his first official interaction with Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed a host of issues with the US President and also took the opportunity to invite him and First lady, Dr Jill Biden, to visit India at their earliest convenience.

In a tweet, PM Modi said that he conveyed his best wishes to the US President, and the two leaders discussed regional issues as well as shared priorities.

“We also agreed to further our cooperation against climate change,” he said. “President Biden & I are committed to a rules-based order. We look forward to consolidating our strategic partnership to further peace & security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” PM Narendra Modi said in another tweet.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two leaders discussed at length regional developments and the wider geopolitical context. They also noted that the India-US partnership is firmly anchored in a shared commitment to democratic values and common strategic interests.

Prime Minister Modi warmly congratulated President Biden, conveyed best wishes for his tenure, and said he looked forward to working closely with him to further elevate the India-US Strategic Partnership.

Both the leaders reiterated the importance of working with like-minded countries to ensure a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

While both leaders affirmed the importance of addressing the challenge of global climate change, the Prime Minister welcomed 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. 

He also welcomed the US President’s initiative to organise the Climate Leaders Summit in April this year and looked forward to participating in the same. This was the first conversation between PM Modi and Biden since the latter`s inauguration as the US President on January 20. 

According to a statement by the White House, Biden committed that the US and India will work closely to combat COVID-19, climate change, rebuild the global economy and stand together against global terrorism.

Biden also 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. 

Last month, Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris took oath as first woman vice president in a historic but scaled-down ceremony. Tweeting soon after Biden’s inauguration, PM Modi had extended best wishes for a successful term and said the two countries stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security.

Noting that the India-US partnership is based on shared values, Modi had said the two countries have a substantial and multi-faceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages.

Biden is known to be a strong proponent of closer India-US ties since his days as a senator in the 1970s and played a key role in getting the approval of the Senate for the bilateral civil nuclear deal in 2008.

The strategic and defence ties between India and the US witnessed major expansion during Barack Obama’s presidency and Biden, as the vice president, had played a key role in it.

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