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Business News/ News / India/  ‘India is a vibrant democracy…,’ US shuns criticism ahead of PM Modi visit

The White House on Monday stated that India is a vibrant democracy, dismissing concerns about its democratic health. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled for a state visit to the US later this month.

John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House's National Security Council, expressed, “India is a vibrant democracy. Anybody that, you know, happens to go to New Delhi can see that for themselves. And certainly, I would expect that strength and health of democratic institutions will be part of the discussion."

Kirby highlighted that India is a significant ally of the United States across various aspects of their partnership. "Look, we never shy away. And you can do that with friends. You're supposed to do that with friends. You never shy away from expressing concerns that we might have with anyone around the world. But this (State) visit is really about advancing what is now and what we hope will be a deeper, stronger partnership and friendship going forward," Kirby said in response to a question.

Kirby mentioned that during the Shangri-La conference, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced further defence cooperation plans with India.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday held wide-ranging talks with US defence secretary Lloyd Austin focusing on crucial aspects of the India-US defence relationship and the regional security landscape, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

The discussions primarily revolved around strengthening defence collaboration between India and the US, encompassing areas such as strategic alignment and increased cooperation. The defence minister emphasized the importance of enhancing ties between the two nations.

According to Rajnath Singh the partnership between India and the US is "critical" for ensuring a “free, open and rules-bound Indo-Pacific region."

Meanwhile, Kirby also highlighted India's membership in the Pacific Quad and its crucial role as a friend and partner in ensuring security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Kirby stressed, “The president is looking forward very much to having Prime Minister Modi here to talk about all those issues and to advance and deepen that partnership and that friendship."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress on June 22 during his state visit to the country. The honour to address joint meetings of Congress is generally accorded to the close allies of the United States or major leaders of the world. Previously, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol addressed the Congress in April.

This will be the second time PM Modi is addressing the joint meeting of the Congress after 2016. In 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first leader of India to address such a meeting in the United States.

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Updated: 06 Jun 2023, 07:42 AM IST
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