- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 17, 2014

President Obama invited newly elected Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to visit him in the White House, despite being banning from the U.S. after being linked to sectarian riots that resulted in a massacre of Muslims. Mr. Modi denied any wrongdoing.

Mr. Obama congratulated Mr. Modi on his landslide win in the election, defeating the Gandhi dynasty, The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

“The President noted he looks forward to working closely with Mr. Modi to fulfill the extraordinary promise of the U.S.-India strategic partnership, and they agreed to continue expanding and deepening the wide-ranging cooperation between our two democracies,” the White House said in a statement Friday.

Administration officials said that Mr. Modi, who has been barred entry to the U.S. since 2002 after his involvement in deadly religious riots, will be granted a U.S. visa now that he is the head of state, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A date for the visit has not been set yet but White House officials said it would take place “at a mutually agreeable time.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also offered his congratulations to Mr. Modi.

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