Dozens of United States Democratic lawmakers have requested President Joe Biden to discuss human rights issues with
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Washington.
Let’s read the news and learn what the lawmakers urged the president to focus on in his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister.
Dozens Of US Lawmakers Urge Biden To Raise Rights Issues With Modi
In a letter to the White House, several lawmakers have urged President Joe Biden to discuss human rights issues in his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Washington this week.
The letter, signed by 75 members of Congress, including 18 Senators and 57 House Representatives, expressed concerns about religious intolerance, internet access, press freedoms, and the targeting of civil society groups and emphasized the importance of upholding American foreign policy.
The letter led by Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative Pramila Jayapal read, “We do not endorse any particular Indian leader or political party, that is the decision of the people of India, but we do stand in support of the important principles that should be a core part of American foreign policy. And we ask that, during your meeting with Prime Minister Modi, you discuss the full range of issues important to a successful, strong, and long-term relationship between our two great countries.”
Prime Minister Modi left for Washington on Tuesday for a visit, a significant milestone in establishing bilateral relations between India and the United States. Though Modi has visited the country 5 times since becoming prime minister in 2014, this visit has special significance as it gives him the full diplomatic status of a state visit.
During his visit to the country, Modi will address a joint House of Representatives and Senate meeting on Thursday, one of the highest honors Washington bestows on foreign dignitaries.
While the United States hopes for a friendly relationship with the world’s largest democracy, considering India a potential counterweight to China, human rights advocates worry that geopolitics might overshadow the human rights issues.
In March, the State Department’s annual report on human rights practices highlighted significant issues and abuses in India. This report has provoked lawmakers to request an open discussion between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi.
The lawmakers said in a letter,” A series of independent, credible reports reflect troubling signs in India toward the shrinking of political space, the targeting of civil society organizations and journalists, the rise of religious intolerance, and growing restrictions on press freedoms and internet access.”
Though the White House has not responded to the letter or issued any statements regarding human rights issues in India, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated that Biden realizes the significance of the country’s relation with India and addressing human rights issues.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington provides an opportunity for both the country’s leaders to discuss critical matters while developing a close relationship based on shared values and principles.
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