WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden emphasized the significance of respecting human rights and the pivotal role of civil society and a free press during his recent bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The discussions took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India, where several critical issues, including the establishment of a rail-air economic corridor from India to Europe, were addressed.
In a traditional news conference held in Hanoi as part of his tour of India and Vietnam, President Biden acknowledged the fruitful outcomes of the G20 summit and expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Modi for hosting the event. However, he shed light on the less-publicized yet crucial aspect of his visit – his one-on-one interaction with the Indian leader.
President Biden highlighted the extensive discussions held between him and Prime Minister Modi, emphasizing their commitment to further strengthening the partnership between India and the United States. He recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the White House in June the previous year as a foundational moment for their cooperation.
"As I always do," President Biden remarked, "I raised with PM Modi, the importance of respecting human rights and the vital role of civil society and a free press in building a strong and prosperous nation." The acknowledgment of these fundamental principles underscores the United States' commitment to upholding democratic values and human rights on the global stage.
During their meeting, President Biden commended India's acquisition of 31 drones and the collaborative efforts in developing jet engines. He expressed his determination to "deepen and systematize" the major security partnership between the two nations, emphasizing the strategic importance of their alliance.
While addressing questions about China and President Xi Jinping's absence from the G20 meeting, as well as the ongoing situation in Ukraine, President Biden's emphasis on human rights and a free press serves as a reminder of the United States' unwavering commitment to these core principles in its diplomatic engagements. The bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi reinforce the value placed on these principles in international relations and cooperation.