WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is inviting India’s next prime minister to visit Washington despite a previous U.S. decision to deny him a visa in 2005.

The White House says Obama called Narendra Modi on Friday to congratulate him and his party’s success in the election. Obama told Modi that he looks forward to cooperating closely and expand the relationship between the U.S. and India.

The U.S. denied Modi a visa in 2005 for alleged complicity in deadly religious riots in 2002. But the White House says Obama has invited Modi to visit when the timing works for both sides.

Secretary of State John Kerry is adding his congratulations on Twitter. He says he will work with Modi to promote shared prosperity and security.

Narendra Modi. Pic: AP.

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