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US congratulates Modi, hopes to work for ‘free and open’ Asia

china congratulates modi
Source: Video Screenshot

The United States on Wednesday congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his coalition’s election win, saying it hoped to work with the Hindu nationalist leader on a “free and open” Asia.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance on their victory, and the nearly 650 million voters in this historic election,” President Joe Biden wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The friendship between our nations is only growing as we unlock a shared future of unlimited potential.”

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the United States hoped to keep advancing “our partnership with the Indian government to promote prosperity and innovation, address the climate crisis and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” a US catchphrase for opposing assertive moves by China.

Miller in a statement called the election “the largest exercise in democracy in human history” and commended “Indian voters, poll workers, civil society and journalists” for contributions to democracy.

The United States since the late 1990s has put a high priority on building relations with India, seeing the billion-plus democracy as like-minded on key areas including the rise of China and the threat of Islamist extremism.

Biden has kept up the courtship, welcoming Modi on a state visit last year and boosting the role of the “Quad” — a group bringing together the United States, India, Japan and Australia, all major democracies with degrees of friction with China.

The embrace of Modi comes despite rising criticism from human rights groups and some left-wing members of Biden’s Democratic Party over what they see as rising authoritarianism by the Hindu nationalist prime minister.

The Biden administration, while gently raising concerns on human rights, has largely brushed off concerns and moved full-speed ahead with Modi.

But senior US officials quietly warned India of consequences to the relationship after federal prosecutors last year alleged that an Indian intelligence officer was involved in an assassination plot against a Sikh separatist on US soil.

Modi is set for a third term in office after the election but his Bharatiya Janata Party lost seats and will need coalition partners, falling short of early hopes of a landslide.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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