Biden raised issues of ‘democratic governance’ in meeting with Modi, White House official says – after Indian government demolishes slums to clear New Delhi for G20 conference
- The government spent months cleaning up central areas for the summit
- Efforts included clearing slums on government land
- Stray dogs removed and businesses closed
President Joe Biden raised unspecified democracy issues during his interview with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a White House official said – amid concerns about press freedom and democratic ‘backsliding’ .
Senior deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told reporters traveling with the president that Biden addressed the hot topic during his first meeting with the Indian leader, who is accused of revoking democratic expression and guards crazy while building immense popularity in his country. .
Leaders of major industrialized nations met in New Delhi on Saturday, with nearly 130,000 police and paramilitaries standing guard in the city. Streets normally clogged with traffic are virtually empty and shops and restaurants have been closed.
Municipal authorities slums destroyed located on public land in the run-up to the event, while looking to disburse the monkeys and stray dogs that line the streets.
The White House said President Biden raised issues of “democratic governance” during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening, but would not elaborate.
Finer would not say whether Biden specifically raised the issue of slum clearance when asked about it — after the White House released a detailed policy briefing on the issues discussed by the two men.
“What I will say is that the type of democratic state of governance, both around the world and in each of our countries, is an essential facet of the bilateral relationship between the United States and India, and the Prime Minister Modi and President Biden have said so, which means these issues are on the agenda of every conversation they have.
But he refused to say what areas they actually addressed after issuing a 29-point joint statement.
Finer said he wouldn’t go “issue by issue and say what was covered.”
The second paragraph of the declaration states that the leaders “reaffirmed that the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism and equal opportunities for all citizens are essential to success of our countries and that these values strengthen our relations. ‘
Ishant Kumar, 10, son of Dharmender Kumar, who works as a clerk at Pragati Maidan, home to the main venue of the G20 Summit, stands next to his house bulldozed during a demolition drive by authorities in a slum near the venue of the next summit in New Delhi, India, June 1, 2023
The White House was asked whether Biden had raised the issue of slum clearance in his meeting with Modi.
Clearing slums is part of a broader effort by India to dazzle world leaders. Stray dogs have also been removed from New Delhi’s busy streets. Authorities in the Indian capital have launched a clean-up operation as part of a beautification project.
President Biden met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of his trip to India. The Indian government published a photo after the American press. The White House said India was disappointed that the leaders of Russia and China were not present, and pleased that Biden did.
City officials attempted to eliminate street dogs, but many still roamed city streets with businesses closed, cars and motorcycles absent from the normally crowded streets.
He said it would be “misleading” to specify what issues they were able to cover.
“What I will say is the broad category of issues that this fits into: Democratic governance in the United States and India was at the heart of the agenda. »
This comment suggests that issues of democracy in the United States were on a par with those in India. Modi is accused of overseeing a “cult of personality” while rolling back judicial independence and stoking religious divisions, all while maintaining wide popularity. The United States, meanwhile, has seen its own reputation for stability damaged by January 6 and political clashes as former President Trump faces multiple criminal trials.
At a press briefing Thursday, NSC head Kurt Campbell cautioned against “lecturing” the rising power and asked for “a degree of humility given some of the challenges which we have also faced in our own country.”