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Biden will not ‘lecture’ Modi on human rights, White House says

Despite continued worries over human rights, US President Joe Biden will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for two days of talks on Wednesday, June 21. The White House sees these discussions as strengthening “one of the defining partnerships of our age.”

While Modi seeks to increase the power of his nation, which is now the most populous in the world, on the international scene, Washington wants India to serve as a strategic counterbalance to China.

Several agreements are expected to be announced by Biden and Modi, including defense cooperation and sales, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and investments by Micron Technology and other US firms in India.

According to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Biden will likely bring up US concerns about India’s democratic decline, but will not lecture Modi on the matter.

According to Sullivan, “we make our views known” when America sees threats to press, religious or other freedoms. We do this without lecturing or claiming that we ourselves do not face difficulties, he continued.

Modi will make his first visit to the United States with full diplomatic status for a state visit, despite concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation under his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi has visited the US five times since taking office in 2014, but this will be his first with this status.

Democrats are pressuring Biden to discuss human rights with Modi. The US CEOs are extending a warm welcome to Modi, including a reception on Friday. He met Tesla CEO Elon Musk in New York on Tuesday.

Both Biden and Modi are concerned about Beijing’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

“This visit is not to discuss China. The topic of China’s involvement in the military, technology and economy will be discussed, according to Sullivan.

Modi and First Lady Jill Biden will host a special dinner at the White House on Wednesday night with the President following their visit to the National Science Foundation on Wednesday.

Modi will be welcomed on Thursday with an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. On Thursday night, Biden and Modi will hold discussions in the Oval Office and then host a banquet in their honor.

No student press conference was scheduled. Speaking on behalf of the White House, John Kirby said the issue was still being worked out.

India has been largely dependent on Russian oil, and Modi has not supported the Ukrainian military effort. According to Sullivan, Biden will raise the issue of Russia and Ukraine ahead of the G20 summit in India later this year.

According to Sullivan, “you’ll see a combination of in-depth strategic discussions and pragmatic advancement, tangible advancement in every aspect of the relationship, all of which will reflect and reinforce the fact that this from our perspective will be one of the defining partnerships of our age.”

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