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White House rolls out red carpet for PM Modi even as criticism grows

US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcome India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House for a private dinner, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in Washington. (Photo | AP)

The Biden administration has vowed a greater focus globally on human rights but has kept a light touch with Modi, who has faced mounting criticism from human rights groups.

WASHINGTON: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday opened a state visit to Washington as the United States steps up its wooing of India despite simmering disagreements on Ukraine and human rights.

President Joe Biden is putting on the full pomp for only the third state visit of his administration, with the billion-plus country seen as a pivotal partner in growing global competition with China.

Modi — flying in from New York where he exerted Indian soft power with a public yoga demonstration — kicked off his visit with an intimate private dinner with Biden at the White House.

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Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.