Expressing support for the United States and India’s relationship, two American lawmakers stressed that Washington will remain steadfast in support of New Delhi’s efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity amidst China’s aggression.
In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Michael T McCaul, its Ranking Member on Wednesday said the closer relationship between India and the US is all the more important as New Delhi faces aggression from Beijing.
“As the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, weare writing jointly to demonstrate the strong bipartisan support for the US-India relationship. Members of both parties recognize the impact that a strong US-India partnership will have on the trajectory of the 21st century,” the letter read.
“This closer relationship is all the more important as India faces aggression from Chinaalong your shared border, which is part of the Chinese government’s consistent pattern of unlawful and belligerent territorial aggression across the Indo-Pacific. The United States will remain steadfast in support of India’s efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it added.
The two lawmakers acknowledged the ongoing serious security and counterterrorism concerns in Jammu and Kashmir, however, also expressed concern that conditions in the region have not normalised one year after India’s repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory.
“As champions of the US-India relationship, we have been delighted to see our countries’ close cooperation on issues from defense to climate change. It is because of our support for the bilateral relationship that we note with concern that conditions in Jammu and Kashmir have not normalized one year after India’s repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory,” the letter stated.
“We acknowledge the ongoing serious security and counterterrorism concerns in theregion and look forward to working with your government to address these concerns while upholding our shared commitments to the democratic values and freedoms, on which our countries’ bond was built,” it added.
Engel and McCaul said they look forward to working with Jaishankar to continue to strengthen and advance this vibrant and consequential relationship.