The White House says India has rejected requests for more press access ahead of the G20 summit


Journalists travel with President Joe Biden to India G20 summit this week I will not have the opportunity to ask questions of Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when The two leaders meet in New DelhiThe White House said Thursday evening that despite multiple requests by the administration for more press access.

“This meeting will be held at the Prime Minister’s residence, so it is unusual in that regard – this is not your typical bilateral visit to India, where meetings are held at the Prime Minister’s office and a full programme,” the National Security Advisor said. Jake Sullivan said Thursday. He added: “This is the G20 host who hosts a large number of leaders, and does so in his home, and sets the protocols he has set.”

In a follow-up interview, Sullivan told reporters that “of course,” the administration pushed for spraying at the meeting, as is customary when Biden hosts leaders at the White House, joking, “We spend our lives asking for pool sprays and other things.” “Things” for reporters.

Modi, who has come under international criticism from press freedom groups that criticize the Indian prime minister for suppressing independent reporting, has rarely taken questions since taking power.

During a state visit in June, Modi agreed Participation in a press conference At the White House after lengthy and sensitive negotiations between the two sides. Indian officials initially rejected the White House’s insistence on holding one, two US officials familiar with the matter told CNN at the time.

The administration was quick to point out the president’s willingness to criticize Modi over press freedom and humanitarian issues under his rule. During his visit in June, six Democratic lawmakers boycotted Modi’s speech to Congress, where Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out India’s treatment of Muslim minorities in the country.

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But Biden warmly welcomed the Indian Prime Minister to the White House, celebrating this occasion State dinner — only a third of his administration — to the controversial Indian leader, citing the two countries’ shared commitment to democracy.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday that the administration is “doing everything we can, doing everything we can” to ensure media access to the president as he travels to India for the summit.

A large number of officials, including Sullivan, White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt, Deputy National Security Advisor John Feiner, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, have contacted their Indian counterparts to demand greater access to the press during the post-war period. . Visit – but to no avail, it seems.

“We have reached out, made the request multiple times and at different pressure points, if you will — at the National Security Council level, the communications level, the people on the ground who are doing a lot of hard work on the ground to make sure that this trip, not only For the president, for all of you, for all of us, seamless.” “And so, this was happening, and we were doing the work. “I mean, I’ll leave it – I’ll leave it to the Indian government to speak for itself.”

“Look, we’re all trying to do our best, at the request of the president, to get this done — and so we’re going to continue to work on that,” she added.

Instead of addressing journalists after the conclusion of the summit in New Delhi, Biden will hold a press conference in VietnamThe White House said it would be “easier” for the president to take questions from reporters.

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“It was logistically easier to do – and it wouldn’t change anything, because the president could have given a solo press conference. Instead of doing it in India, he’ll do it in Vietnam, and that doesn’t change anything at all,” Jean-Pierre said. .

Sullivan said that apart from Biden’s meeting with Modi, there are unlikely to be many formal meetings with world leaders while they attend the G20 summit.

He said, “I cannot confirm any (bilateral meetings), and to be honest with you, I think you will not see, because of the way the schedule is organized, a large number of official meetings with other leaders.” “I think most of the work he will be doing with a number of important heads of state and government over the 48 hours he will be in Delhi will be more informal, on the sidelines, not formal one-on-one sessions, so I don’t think ‘I don’t have any Pilates to announce today.’

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