Despite a flap over sale of F-16, ties with India’s Modi government strong: US
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]E[/dropcap]specially with Narendra Modi government, US says it has a strong relationship with India despite a flap over sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan and India’s denial of visas to a US commission on religious freedom .
When asked if the US was not having a smooth ride with India in view of such issues with John Kirby, the State Department spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday told “No, I would actually disagree with that”.
He said, “with the Modi government specifically and India writ, I think we have had and we look forward to continuing to have a good, strong relationship”.
“Kirby Said, “Frankly, we and Indian people are facing lot of common issues, common challenges, common threats”
“I think we’ve got a good, honest, candid, productive relationship with the Modi government, and we look forward to that continuing. In fact, we look forward to it deepening” Kirby said. He also said, “So no, I would absolutely not characterize that at all.”
Asked whether issues surrounding the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal would be resolved during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for the nuclear security summit later this month, Kirby said he didn’t have “anything specific” on the issue.
“Obviously, we’re very much looking forward to that and to our ability to participate in it. But I don’t have anything specific with the Indian civil nuclear programme to discuss today,” he said.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s who Wednesday concluded a four day visit to Washington to review India-US bilateral relations ahead of Modi’s visit “talked about a wide range of bilateral and regional issues” with US officials.
Jaishankar met with Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and many other officials, and discussed “the full range of issues in the US-India relationship were discussed – economic, political, security,” Kirby said.
Asked whether counter-terrorism and the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan in the face of India’s strong objections was discussed, the official repeated that “they discussed a wide range to include security issues” but declined to give a detailed readout.
“I can scarcely think of a time when we haven’t sat down with our Indian friends that we didn’t talk about counterterrorism,” Kirby added.
He again declined “to get into great detail” whether India’s denial of visas to the US Commission On International Religious Freedom was discussed.
“”We had good, productive talks about a wide range of issues facing both our countries as we continue to try to deepen this relationship and deal with very common challenges,” Kirby said.
“As for the commission and the visas, we’ve made our concerns known at various levels,” he said. “So we’ve not been bashful or shy about stating our disappointment.
Here is an informative post on F-16 sale to Pakistan.
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