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India Is A Vibrant Democracy, Go To Delhi And See For Yourself: White House

Dismissing any concerns about the "health of democracy" in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House on Monday (5 June) said that India is a vibrant democracy and anybody who happens to go to New Delhi can see that for themselves.

The statement comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned state visit to the US later this month.

"India is a vibrant democracy. Any — anybody that, you know, happens to go to New Delhi can see that for themselves. And certainly, I would expect that the strength and health of democratic institutions will be part of the discussion," John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, said at a press briefing at the White House.

"And, 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 visit is really about advancing what is now and what we hope will be a deeper, stronger partnership and friendship going forward," Kirby added.

Kirby said that India is a strong partner on "very, very many levels" with the United States. "You saw that, in Shangri-La, Secretary Austin announced some additional defense cooperation now that we’re going to pursue with India. Of course, there’s an awful lot of economic trade between our two countries. India is a member of the Pacific Quad and a key friend and partner with respect to Indo-Pacific security," he said. "There’s innumerable reasons why India certainly matters not just bilaterally between the two of our nations, but multilaterally on very many levels," Kirby said.

"And 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," he added.


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