US ties with India could strengthen under Biden


A day after Joe Biden assumed office as the 46th President of the United States, the White House has said that he respects the long bipartisan, successful relationship between US and India, adding that he looks forward to the continuation of that.

Responding to a question on the India-US relationship under the Biden Administration, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “President Biden, has visited India many times, respects and values the long bipartisan successful relationship between a leader in India and the United States. It looks forward to a continuation of that.”

Psaki did not forget to mention the Indian roots of Kamala Harris can be great leverage in strengthening the relationship between India and the United States.

“The first Indian American to serve as president or Vice President is certainly a historic moment for all of us in this country but a further. You know cementing of the importance of our relationship,” she added.

Shortly after Biden was sworn-in Wednesday, Modi posted tweets congratulating the president and committing to work with him. “My warmest congratulations to Joe Biden on his assumption of office as the President of the United States of America. I look forward to working with him to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership,” he had said in one of them.

In the second, he said, “We stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security”.

In another post, he had said, “The India-US partnership is based on shared values. We have a substantial and multifaceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages. Committed to working with President @JoeBiden to take the India-US partnership to even greater heights.”

Biden and Modi go back further than the November call. In 2014, Biden, who was vice-president then, had hosted a lunch for the Indian prime minister at the state department. Modi, who was observing Navratri fasts at the time, skipped the meal part of the event, as he had at the dinner hosted for him and his team by President Barack Obama at the White House.

As the new administration settles in, policymakers and experts in both the US and India are eager to know its policy and approach on India. Mitt Romney, the Republican senator, asked Antony Blinken, the nominee for secretary of states, about it at the latter’s confirmation hearing Tuesday.

In addition to that, Biden’s nominee for defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has also said that he would continue to build on the “strong defense cooperation” with India and ensure that the militaries of the two countries can collaborate on shared interests.

In written answers to questions from the Senate Armed Forces Committee, he said that he would “further operationalize India’s ‘major defense partner’ status and continue to build upon existing strong defense cooperation to ensure the US and Indian militaries can collaborate to address shared interests”.

In fact, India received the status of major defense partner in 2016 when Biden was the vice president and Barack Obama was the president.