Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], July 7 (ANI): US Ambassador Eric Garcetti said that there has been “so much progress” in the Northeast region, and it’s not possible without peace. He further stated that the US is ready “to assist in any way” if asked in dealing with the situation in Manipur.
Garcetti also stated that violence in Manipur is an “Indian matter” and the US prays for peace in the region as it can bring more collaboration, more projects, and more investment if “peace is in place” in the region.
“I don’t think it’s about strategic concerns. I think it’s about human concerns. I think all of us, you don’t have to be Indian to care when children or individuals die in the sort of violence that we see. And we know that peace is the precedent for so many other good things,” Garcetti said in a press conference in Kolkata on Thursday while responding to a question on Manipur.
The violence in Manipur between the Meiteis and the tribal Kuki erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3. The conflict led to many people shifting to relief camps while leaving more than 130 people dead.
“There’s been so much progress in the Northeast and in the East here. The country has done some remarkable things in recent years, and those can’t continue without peace. So we stand ready, willing, able to assist in any way of asked,” he said.
While addressing the conference, the US ambassador to India praised the West Bengal government’s emphasis on making the state a major logistics hub in the region.
“I want to commend the West Bengal government’s emphasis on developing ports and land waterways, multimodal transportation infrastructure, to make West Bengal a major logistics hub for this country and region. So it’s no surprise that we are seeing those billions of dollars of investment from companies from the US…They’re taking advantage of the strategic location of a great workforce,” Garcetti said.
He also talked about the potential for the US to accelerate the needed infrastructure in Kolkata.
“As a diplomat myself, I was a mayor for ten years and I’m passionate about infrastructure. In some of my meetings, I engage with leaders here about the potential for the US to accelerate the badly needed infrastructure here. Kolkata is a planned city that has been unplanned for a long time, and the aspirations of leaders to continue to replan it, is something not just here, but throughout east and Northeast India. We hope that we can be great friends and partners.”
During his visit to Kolkata, Garcetti met West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and Amit Mitra, Principal Chief Adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Baneerji.
Garcetti held discussions with them on the importance of women’s empowerment, economic opportunities for diverse communities, climate actions, and ways to enhance the strategic partnership between the US and India in West Bengal.
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