Indian Prime Minister Modi speaks with U.S. President-elect Biden

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tweeted that he spoke to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him.

“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.”

Modi added that he also conveyed warm congratulations for U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. He added: “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.”

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs added that Modi warmly recalled his earlier interactions with Biden, including those during his official visits to the United States in 2014 and 2016. Biden had chaired the joint session of the U.S. Congress that Modi addressed during his 2016 visit.

The Biden-Harris Transition website said: “The president-elect thanked the prime minister for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the U.S.-India strategic partnership alongside the first vice president of South Asian descent. The president-elect 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.”

LAST Saturday Biden and Harris issued the following joint statement on Diwali:

“On behalf of our families, we wish a happy Diwali to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, and everyone celebrating the festival of lights across the United States, India, and the world.

“Like so many cherished traditions during the pandemic, we know this year’s Diwali and its symbolizing of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and empathy over apathy arrives with a deeper meaning.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who is ushering in this new year with the recent loss of a loved one, or who finds themselves fallen on hard times. Our prayers remain with everyone fighting the pandemic on the frontlines instead of staying safe at home in prayer with their families. And, we know the sadness of being apart on a day that truly signifies the blessing of family and friendship.

“But Diwali is ultimately a reminder of the light that’s within us all to hope and dream, and to overcome our differences and keep the faith in each other. That’s the light we see shining on this day and that will guide us through the darkness with knowledge, science, truth, unity, and compassion.

“And that’s why as Diwali is celebrated via video calls and while socially distanced this year, we look forward to celebrating Diwali at the White House next year — in person, together with you, and in a nation healed and united.’

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