Close your eyes to raise human rights issues during your visit to India next week

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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship will speak next week in India about supporting Afghanistan as concerns grow over the Taliban’s benefits as the two-decade-long US military mission draws to a close in New Delhi.

On his first visit to the emerging US ally since taking office, Blankenship will also consider working together on the supply of CoV 19 vaccines and exploring more security and cyber cooperation.

Blanken will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Subramanian Jaishankar on Wednesday and will hold separate talks in Kuwait.

Dan Thompson, the top US ambassador to South Asia, said Blinken would welcome India’s “joint commitment to peace and economic development in Afghanistan”, where New Delhi has been following the US invasion since September. The Taliban have spent about $ 1 billion since the overthrow of the government. 11, 2001 attacks.

“We expect all countries in the region to have a common interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan and we will certainly work with our Indian partners to achieve this goal,” Thompson told reporters. We will consider talking about. ” .

President Joe Biden has ordered an end to America’s longest-running American war by the end of August, saying that despite the rapid gains made by militants on the ground, nothing more can be achieved militarily.

Muslim militants ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when an Indian civilian plane hijacked a Taliban stronghold in Kandahar.

India’s strong support for the Afghan government, including helping to build a new parliament, has raised suspicions in its historic rival Pakistan, which was the Taliban’s main international supporter.

India recently expelled 50 diplomats and others from its consulate in Kandahar, although it insisted that officials would return as security improved.

– Rights to address –

Since the late 1990s, the governments of the United States and India have forged close ties along party lines as the world’s two largest democracies see common interests in a growing China, Islamist extremism and other challenges.

But Biden, if not by his predecessor Donald Trump, has been criticized as a candidate by Modi’s controversial measures, including the Hindu nationalist government’s citizenship law, which critics say he Muslims are discriminated against.

Thomson said the United States would “raise” human rights issues, but added: “We firmly believe that our common value is greater on those fronts than we do.”

SSS

We look forward to discussing developments in the Pacific region with our Indian partners. One of the multifaceted events hosted by President Biden this year was the Quad Summit with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia. The Quad leaders agreed on a common vision for the region, one that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, safe in the spirit of democratic values ​​and respect for human rights, and where sovereignty is protected. We are working with other friends and partners in India and the region to advance this shared vision of the Indian Ocean. Importantly, we will also discuss our health-related cooperation to combat COVID-19, including the quad vaccine partnership that was first announced during President Biden’s quad summit.

Mr. Thompson: Thank you, Tracy. Yes, I think it’s fair to say that we see the relationship continue at a very high level, and of course India will continue to be an incredibly important partner. We look forward to continuing our global comprehensive strategic partnership, and I think the President has given high priority to our partnership with Quad and India since the beginning of this administration. Get together with them and our other partners and meet them. So I would expect that we would continue the dialogue on all these fronts.

And when it comes to human rights and democracy, yes, you are right. I will tell you that we will raise it, and we will continue this conversation, because we firmly believe that our common value is greater on those fronts than we do. And we believe that India is going to be a really important part of continuing these talks and making strong efforts on these fronts in partnership.

The relationship with India is a strong one that has been and will continue to be maintained in the United States through the administration of all colors and stripes. Therefore, we look forward to the Secretary’s opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Modi, EAM Jaishankar, and continue to pursue various areas of our interest. Thanks.



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