After “xenophobic” remark, White House applauds India's “vibrant democracy”

White House Advisor John Kirby praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the active participation of the Indian public in its ongoing general elections.

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby (on dais) and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (left) during a press briefing on May.17. / Courtesy Photo

The White House on May.17 applauded the Indian public for exercising their vote in the ongoing general elections, calling India one of the most vibrant democracies in the world.

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby made the remarks while responding to a question regarding the Indian elections from a reporter at a news conference.

“Not too many more vibrant democracies in the world than India. And we applaud the Indian people for exercising, you know, their ability to vote, and to have a voice in their future government. And we wish them well throughout the process, of course,” Kirby said.

Responding to another question about the India-US ties during Narendra Modi's tenure, Kirby said that the relationship between the two nations had definitely strengthened in the last three years of US President Joe Biden's administration.

“Our relationship with India is extremely close and getting closer,” Kirby remarked. “You saw it on a State visit (last visit). We launched all kinds of new initiatives, working on critical emerging technologies together, and bolstering and expanding the relevance of the Indo-Pacific quad, of course, which India is a part of. And then, just the people to people exchanges, and the military that we share with India.” 

“It's a very vibrant, very active partnership. We are grateful for Prime Minister Modi's leadership,” the White House representative went on to say.

Kirby also reiterated that President Biden was only making a broader point during one of his recent speeches where he referred to the likes of India and Japan (members of Quad) as "xenophobic" countries.

“I mean, the president was making a broader point here about the vibrancy of our own democracy, here in the United States, and how inclusive and participatory it is,” Kirby said, adding that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had already clarified it.