Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at his election rally, after the news media announced that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election over President Donald Trump, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

United States (US) President Joe Biden had his maiden telephonic conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the White House announced.

“The 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,” a statement from White House read.

The Quad is an informal group comprising India, United States, Japan, and Australia that Washington has been promoting to work as a potential bulwark against China’s increasing political, commercial, and military activity in the Indo-Pacific, according to diplomats.

The statement further said that the two leader committed to working closely together on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and promoting a “free and open Indo-Pacific region.” They also agreed that “rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld” in India’s neighbor Myanmar, where the military recently staged a coup.

Statement from the White House

Joe Biden “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,” according to the statement.

However, there was no mention of any discussion regarding the massive farmers’ protests that have called global attention to India. The governmental suppression of the protesting farmers through internet blockages also invited comments from American singer Rihanna, American lawyer and US Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece Meena Haris, and Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.


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