Biden, Modi Commit to Fighting COVID, Climate Change

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, spoke Monday to discuss their commitment to fighting the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.The two leaders made no mention of ongoing protests by farmers in India, which have dominated the Indian news cycle for months, according to a readout of the call from the White House.“The United States and India will work closely together 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,” according to the White House readout of the call.“We discussed regional issues and our shared priorities,” Modi wrote on Twitter after the call.Spoke to @POTUS@JoeBiden 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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2021According to the White House, Modi welcomed calls to collaborate on combatting climate change and agreed to participate in a climate summit Biden will host in April.But India, the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the United States, has argued that, as a developing country, it should not be subject to the same rules as richer countries.The United States and India had close ties under the previous U.S. administration. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, visited India in February 2020. Trump’s White House saw New Delhi as an ally in its hard-line stance against China.   

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