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US honours Indian democracy, open debates: Mike Pompeo

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States honours Indian democracy as India has a robust debate inside the country on issues such as citizenship and religious freedom, dispelling suggestions that the Trump administration is mounting pressure on the Modi government on internal matters.

“We care deeply and always will about protecting minorities and religious rights everywhere.

We honour Indian democracy as they have a robust debate on the issue that you raised,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday at the conclusion of the 2+2 ministerial talks between the defence ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries. Pompeo and defence secretary Mark Esper hosted their Indian counterparts, S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh, for the talks on Wednesday.

He was responding to a question on protests in India after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Jaishankar, too, responded to the question, saying: “If you had followed the debate on that particular legislation carefully, you would see that it is a measure which is designed to address the needs of persecuted religious minorities from certain countries.”

Source: Economic Times