Biden will make his vision of India-US friendship a reality, Secretary of State-elect Blinken’s stand on New Delhi

Washington [US], November 24 (ANI): US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday nominated Antony Blinken, one of his closest and longest-serving foreign policy advisers, as Secretary of State to serve in his administration.
Blinken, 58, has been advising Biden on foreign policy for years. He is a known quantity, with a lengthy track record of public statements and policy moves.

As a run-up to the presidential election, Blinken in the last few months has made some statements that give a sense of his approach towards India.

On August 15, Blinken participated in a panel discussion on Indo-US ties.

Addressing Indian American Democrats on India’s Independence Day at the U.S.-India Relations and Indian Americans in Joe Biden’s America virtual event, Blinken affirmed how Biden would be a champion of India-US relations.

He had said that Joe Biden sees India and the US as natural partners and that the vision, he will help to make real as the president.

Blinken had asserted that the Biden administration would be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions that include helping India to get a seat in reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Explaining how Biden, over the years, has worked for the strengthening of India, US relationship, Blinken said: “Biden has long been a champion of stronger ties with India. I saw this first hand. If you go back 15 years, Joe Biden had the vision for the future of US-India relations. In 2006, he said that ‘my dream is in 2020, the two closest relations in the world will be India and US’. We are not quite there but it is the terrific vision and the one, I know, he will act to achieve as the US president.”

“He was the driving force of lifting the nuclear sanctions on India and the passage of landmark India civil nuclear deal. This I got to see close-in personal with him in the senate. He worked with Republican and Democrats and the Bush administration to ensure that it is a bipartisan effort. It would not have happened without his leadership. Under Obama-Biden administration, we made significant progress in strengthening the relationship between the two countries,” he added.

Asserting that Washington and New Delhi have a common challenge in the form of Beijing, Blinken had said Biden administration would be working with close partners like India asserting their values so engaging China from the position of strength.

“We have a common challenge to deal with the increasingly assertive China including his aggression towards India at the Line of Actual Control but also using its economic might to coerce others, ignoring the international rule to advance its own interests, asserting the unfounded maritime and territorial claims that threaten freedom of navigation in some of the most important seas in the world. And of course, repressing the rights of its own people and democracy in Hong Kong. We have to take a step back and put ourselves in the position of strength from which to engage China so that relationship move toward on our terms, not theirs,” he had said

“And that’s role need to extend beyond the region as the vast it is to the world at large. In the Biden administration, it would be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions that include helping India get a seat in reformed United Nations security council, he added.

On terrorism, Blinken had said that the Biden administration would have a zero-tolerance for terrorism in Asia or anyplace else.

On the Citizenship Amendment Act, Blinken had said at the virtual event: “Now, we obviously have challenges now and real concerns, for example, some of the laws on citizenship but you’re always better engaging with a partner and a vitally important one like India when you can speak frankly and directly about areas where you have differences even as you’re working to build greater cooperation and strengthen the relationship going forward.” (ANI)

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