PM Modi, Biden agree on free & open Indo-Pacific, rule of law in Myanmar: White House

Washington, Feb 9 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Monday agreed to continue their close cooperation on advancing freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region and also insisted that the rule of law must be restored in Myanmar.

During the telephonic conversation, which was also the first conversation between them since Mr Biden assumed the charge on January 20, the leaders agreed to continuing 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, according to the White House statement. The Quad is group of India, Australia, Japan and the US.

Mr 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, the White House said in the readout.

They further resolved that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld in Burma (Myanmar), where the military took control and imposed state of emergency for one year after staging coup against State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar president Win Myint, citing ‘election fraud in last year’s elections, in which Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party secured the majority.

Both the leaders also committed that the US and India will work closely to win the fight against the COVID-19 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 leaders 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 statement concluded.

Earlier in the day, Mr Modi took to Twitter to inform that he talked to Mr Biden and discussed regional issues and shared priorities of the two countries.

In a tweet, Prime Minister said: “Spoke to @[email protected] and conveyed my best wishes for his success. We discussed regional issues and our shared priorities. We also agreed to further our co-operation against climate change.’

Mr Modi further added that President Biden and he are committed to rules-based international order. “We look forward to consolidating our strategic partnership to further peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.’



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