Washington DC [US], July 6 (ANI): A top official in US president Joe Biden’s administration, Kurt Campbell, has said that both India and the United States have their challenges and he does not think Washington can or should be in a position where it gives lectures to another country on democracy and human rights.
The US National Security Council’s coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on Thursday in an interview with ANI said “Each of our countries is imperfect. I don’t think the United States can or should be in a position where it lectures any other country.”
“I think what President Biden… sought to do was to suggest that for India to meet its full potential, it would need to become more of an example on a number of fronts. And I think that message was delivered with respect and I think it was heard in that vein,” Campbell said in response to a question about comments on democracy and human rights in India.
“I have been involved in India-US relations for almost 30 years and I can tell you in the period leading up to the arrival of PM Modi here in Washington, DC the level of trust and confidence between the US and Indian interlocutors was notably different…,” the White House official added.
Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent US visit, Campbell said that he found “quite inspirational” the level of trust and confidence developed between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi. “And that’s something that I think is important and we will seek to build up,” Deputy Assistant to the US President said.
The top White House official on Asia, termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi one of the “most effective successful, popular and democratically elected leaders” on the planet.”
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Campbell said, “Look, Prime Minister Modi is one of the most effective, successful, popular, democratically elected leaders on the planet. And this far into his tenure, he is still extremely popular in India in a real sense that he has an agenda for bringing India into the 21st century.
“Every society, including the United States and India, has challenges and have its problems. I can tell you that Prime Minister Modi and President Biden had discrete, important conversations about some of our differences.”
He stated that there is an “undeniable strategic component” to the relationship between India and United States. Campbell said that he has witnessed the connections between the people of India and the US noting that the two countries share an enormous number of values.
“Look, there is an undeniable strategic component to this relationship. And I think that sense of changing geostrategic realities is felt in both Delhi and in Washington DC. But I will also tell you, I have seen personally the connections between our peoples. I saw the tremendous sense of appreciation and dignity of the diaspora Indian Americans that felt, finally, India is getting its due,” Kurt Campbell told ANI.
“I think the United States and India share an enormous number of values. And I think it is simplistic to say that we’re so different. Every country has differences. We come from different traditions, different histories. But at the same time, we share many things in common, and not least of which are educational aspirations, goals and objectives for a free and Indo-Pacific, working closely to secure peace and stability. I think there is enough common purpose in the relationship to propel us forward,” he added.
Asked about pro-Khalistan supporters attack on the building of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, Kurt Campbell said, “First of all, let me say that these are deeply regrettable events. We take very seriously the safety and security of diplomats that are living in the United States. We have been in close contact with Indian authorities, with local law enforcement. We are trying to take the necessary steps to ensure that Indian diplomatic community feels safe and secure here. And we’ll continue with that work going forward.”
Earlier, the US strongly condemned the reported vandalism and attempted arson by pro-Khalistan supporters against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Sunday (local time).
“The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday. Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense,” US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a tweet on Monday (local time).
Around 1:40 am (local time) on Sunday, a group of Khalistan radicals made an attempt to set the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on fire, sources told ANI. A video of the incident was verified by sources who told ANI the fire was suppressed quickly by the San Francisco Fire Department. (ANI)
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