Biden Emphasizes Importance of Religious Tolerance in US-India Relations

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In a significant diplomatic gesture, President Joe Biden reiterated the significance of religious freedom as a fundamental tenet for both India and the United States during a warm reception for Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi at the White House on Thursday.

Modi has faced international scrutiny over the treatment of religious minorities in India, with human rights organizations accusing the government of turning a blind eye to incidents of violence perpetrated against Muslims and Christians by extremist groups.

During the ceremonial welcome, President Biden emphasized the enduring values of equity under the law, freedom of expression, religious pluralism, and the diversity of their respective populations. He noted that these principles have withstood challenges throughout the histories of both nations and will continue to shape their shared strength, depth, and future.

While trade and defense issues were the focal points of their discussions, both leaders underscored the positive aspects of the U.S.-India relationship. They acknowledged the shared challenges posed by a rising China and expressed their commitment to strengthening the strategic partnership between their democracies.

President Biden expressed his long-held belief that the U.S.-India relationship would be one of the most consequential alliances of the 21st century. Prime Minister Modi, in turn, highlighted the democratic values that serve as the foundation for both nations, emphasizing their pride in the diversity of their societies. He stressed the guiding principle of working in the interest and welfare of all.

Furthermore, both leaders affirmed their dedication to collaborating for the betterment of the global community, striving for peace, stability, and prosperity worldwide. They viewed their robust strategic partnership as a testament to the power and efficacy of democratic systems in addressing global challenges.

The meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi exemplified their shared commitment to fostering religious tolerance, strengthening bilateral ties, and collectively contributing to the global common good.

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