New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he congratulated US President-elect on phone Joe Biden and held discussion on COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that he reiterated India's commitment towards strategic partnership with the United States.

In another tweet, the prime minister said he also congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and said that her success was a matter of pride for the Indian-American community. Harris is the first Indian-American to hold the second-highest elected office of the United States after that of the president. 

Harris, whose mother is from India and father from Jamaica, is also the first-ever women vice president of the United States. She was also the first female African-American to become California's attorney general. In 2017, she became the second African-American woman to join the Senate, winning the California seat vacated by Senator Barbara Boxer.  

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.

In August 2001, Biden, as a chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter to the then President George W Bush calling for the removal of sanctions against India. In the midst of hectic negotiations between the two countries to conclude the civil nuclear deal, Biden was a critical ally for India in the Senate.

The deal had laid a strong foundation for the deepening of ties between the two leading democracies. The strategic and defence ties between India and the US witnessed major expansion during Barack Obama's presidency and Biden, as Vice President, had played a key role in it.

It was the Obama administration in 2016 which designated India as a “Major Defence Partner” of the US intending to elevate the defence trade and technology sharing to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

The Obama administration had supported India's claim to permanent membership of the UN Security Council and significantly boosted co-operation with India to fight terrorism. In his campaign documents, Biden spoke about his vision for the US-India partnership as well as on standing with India in facing threats in the region.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta