President Biden welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House Thursday, praising a new era in U.S.-India relations, on Modi’s second day of a lavish visit to the U.S. that’s been condemned by human rights advocates. The two leaders announced a series of new initiatives, including a landmark deal for General Electric to build military jet engines in India. Modi delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress and was later feted at a state dinner with the president and first lady Jill Biden. In a rare occurrence, Modi accepted questions from journalists during a news conference with President Biden. Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui, who is Muslim, pressed Modi on human rights concerns and asked him what steps he’s taking to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities and press freedom in India. It’s believed to be the first question Modi took from a journalist at a news conference since 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “We have always proved that democracy can deliver. And when I say 'deliver,' this is regardless of caste, creed, religion or gender. There’s absolutely no space for discrimination.”