White House Previews Modi Visit; Reiterates Stance Towards Bangladesh Elections

On the eve of Indian Prime Minister Modi’s high-profile visit to Washington, the White House reaffirmed its position on Bangladesh’s upcoming elections stating, ‘We have made it clear’.During Tuesday’s briefing at the Foreign Press Center for a ‘Preview of the Upcoming State Visit of the Prime Minister Norendra Modi’, the NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications Admiral John Kirby said, “On Bangladesh – we let the Indian government speak for its bilateral relations with Bangladesh, but we have already made clear our desire to see free and fair elections in Bangladesh”.

Kirby was responding to a question from SAP Executive Editor Mushfiqul Fazal, who asked “As the largest democracy in the world, will India be with the US efforts to ensuring voting rights and restoring democracy in Bangladesh?”

John Kirby added, “We have adopted our visa policy to restrict travel to individuals who undermine Bangladesh’s election. We have been public about that.”

Asked if concerns about human rights issues would be raised during the meetings between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi, Kirby said, “It is commonplace for President Biden to raise concerns about human rights, wherever he goes around the world and whoever leaders he meets”.

The spokesperson also reiterated the Biden – Harris administration’s foreign policy pillar saying, “Human rights are foundational elements of this administration’s foreign policy. You can certainly expect that the President will and as he always does, and as you can do with friends and partners like Prime Minister Modi and India, we will raise our concerns about that [human rights]”.

Prime Minister Modi is the third state guest of the Biden-Harris administration; the previous two were French President Emmanuel Macron and South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol.

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