Washington: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to the United States on June 22, the White House expressed confidence in India’s status as a “vibrant democracy,” dismissing concerns regarding the health of democracy in the country under the Prime Minister’s leadership. John Kirby, the Coordinator of Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, emphasised that the strength and robustness of democratic institutions in India would likely be a topic of discussion during the visit.
Kirby further highlighted the significant alliance between India and the United States across various domains, underscoring that the US administration is not hesitant to express concerns, particularly with friends, on the global stage. The official also mentioned that President Joe Biden eagerly anticipates Prime Minister Modi’s visit as an opportunity to advance the partnership between the two countries.
In reference to the Shangri-La conference, Kirby noted that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had announced plans for enhanced defence cooperation with India. Additionally, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held extensive discussions with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, focusing on crucial aspects of the India-US defence relationship and regional security dynamics, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Singh emphasised the “critical” nature of the partnership between India and the US in ensuring a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.