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India no more a second-tier country from US perspective: White House

US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says on the state visit of PM Narendra Modi

Team Parvasi – Inside

India no more a second-tier country from US perspective: White House

White House: “India is not a second-tier anything. India matters significantly to President Biden and to this administration, and not just in South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region but truly globally,” said US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on the upcoming state visit of PM Narendra Modi. He was asked what had changed from India being a second-tier country in terms of the US to a situation where India is everything.

“Biden knows that there are very few problems around the world that any one nation can solve for itself.  We need each other,” he said.

“Now, we’re hosting India for an official state visit to put our cooperation on an inexorable trajectory, as we support India’s emergence as a great power that will be central to ensuring US interest in the coming decades,’’ he added.

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To a spate of questions on human rights in India, Kirby said, “It is commonplace and consistent for Biden to raise concerns over human rights wherever he goes around the world and whatever leaders he’s speaking to. Human rights are a foundational element of this administration’s foreign policy, and you can certainly expect that the President will – as he always does and as you can do with friends and partners like Prime Minister Modi in India – raise our concerns about that.’’

The White House, however, played down the China angle by largely skipping a question on whether the main purpose to invite PM Modi to the US is to counter Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific. Kirby mainly dwelt on US efforts to get lines of communication open with China and to try to advance this competition that we’re in in a responsible way.

Of the several tangibles that are expected from the visit, Kirby also spoke on new initiatives to boost people-to-people ties “because that really is the root of the strength of the bilateral relationship 10, 15 years out in the future”.

On Ukraine, he said it was up to PM Modi to determine whether he wanted India to take an assertive role in helping bring about a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. The three conditions that the US wanted to be followed were — include the perspectives of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, respect internationally recognised borders and full transparency with Zelenskyy.

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