New Delhi, Mar 16 : India on Thursday welcomed the confirmation of former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti as the US’ Ambassador to India and said it looks forward to working with him to take forward the multi-faceted bilateral ties.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, answering questions on the issue, also said that a viral video showing some comments by Ambassador-designate Garcetti purportedly saying at a Senate hearing that he will actively take up the issue of human rights in India if confirmed for the post, is “pretty old”.
“We welcome the confirmation of Mr Eric Garcetti as Ambassador to India and we look forward to working with him to take forward our multi-faceted bilateral relations,” said the spokesperson.
To a question on Garcetti seen saying in the viral video that alleged human rights violations in India would be at the centre of his tenure, the spokesperson said: “I am not aware of any comments by Ambassador-designate Eric Garcetti recently on this issue. I think there is something on social media, which is pretty old.”
He added “Our position on many of the issues is well known to the world.”
Last year in April, after the India-US 2+2 meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had remarked about a “rise in human rights abuses” in India. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a sharp rebuttal had said that while people are entitled to have views about India’s policies, New Delhi is “equally entitled” to have views about them.
On Wednesday, the US Senate voted 52-42 to confirm former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the next US ambassador to India.
Garcetti will be the first permanent ambassador to India under President Joe Biden.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, Garcetti is purportedly seen stating that he will “actively engage” with civil society groups working on democracy in India if he is confirmed, and that the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) will be a “core part” of what he plans to take up with his Indian counterparts.
To another query, on the bipartisan resolution moved by US Senators Bill Hagerty and Jeff Merkley reaffirming the US’ recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as an “integral part of the Republic of India”, the MEA spokesperson said that they are finding out the details of the resolution. He added they have not heard anything specific on it from the US government, and that the resolution had only been tabled as of now.
“We have seen reports of such a resolution in the US Senate. We are finding out the details. But we have not seen anything specific on this from the American government. For now we are seeing the details of the resolution, it has only been tabled so far,” Bagchi said.
On Wednesday, US Senators Bill Hagerty and Jeff Merkley introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution reaffirming the US’ recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India and condemned China’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Business Upturn staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)