India prime minister will travel to DC

India's new prime minister, who was previously barred from visiting the U.S. over his role in anti-Muslim riots that left thousands dead, has accepted President Obama's invitation to visit Washington in September.

Narendra Modi, whose party dominated India's parliamentary elections in May, said in a statement to Reuters he was "looking forward to a result-oriented visit with concrete outcomes that impart new energy to (the) India-U.S. strategic partnership." 

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Modi served as governor of the Indian state of Gujarat during a series of riots in 2002 that left an estimated 2,000 people dead. Three years later, the U.S. denied Modi a visa as investigators looked into his role in the riots.

While his political opponents seized on the incident to paint Modi as a Hindu supremacist, the future prime minister has denied any wrongdoing. In 2010, India's supreme court ruled that he would not face charges stemming from the riots.

When his party claimed victory in May, former White House press secretary Jay Carney said Modi would now be allowed to freely travel to the U.S.

Carney said then he did not anticipate the prior diplomatic freeze would strain relations with the new Indian government.



"We look forward to working with the new government and the new prime minister, and we congratulate Mr. Modi and his party on their victory. I don't anticipate any problem in that regard," Carney said. "What we do anticipate is moving forward with the new government in strengthening a relationship that has already been strengthened significantly over the past years with Prime Minister [Manmohan] Singh at the helm in India."