Monday, 5 June, 2023

Biden to host India's Modi for state visit in June

US President Joe Biden will host India Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit on June 22 that will affirm the two countries' "deep and close partnership," the White House announced Wednesday.

The visit, the highest level of diplomatic reception at the White House, will boost Washington and New Delhi's "shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific," the statement said.

The invitation comes as both India and the United States seek to shore up support against China's growing assertiveness, and despite rising concerns about human rights and democratic backsliding in the world's most populous nation.

Modi's government has been widely accused by political opponents and rights groups of using the law to target and silence critics.

It will be the first state visit by Modi to the United States. He visited Biden at the White House in 2021, but as part of the Quad summit bringing together the United States, Australia, Japan and India.

This time India is understood to have pushed for the pomp of a full state visit. The trip will include a state dinner.

The visit will also strengthen the two countries' "shared resolve to elevate our strategic technology partnership, including in defense, clean energy, and space," the White House statement continued.

"The leaders will discuss ways to further expand our educational exchanges and people-to-people ties, as well as our work together to confront common challenges from climate change, to workforce development and health security," it said.