State dept. tries to downplay differences with India on Pannun investigation

New York: The United States has downplayed recent irritants in its ties with India over an alleged plot to kill Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and expressed its willingness to engage with New Delhi in resolving the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia.

“I would say that we would welcome India’s constructive engagement in these two matters (wars in Ukraine and Gaza) as we welcome constructive engagement from countries around the world,” US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

He said the Joe Biden administration has focused a “great deal of time and attention” on the ties with India. The Biden administration last week briefed five Indian-American lawmakers on the role of Indian national Nikhil Gupta in the foiled assassination plot against Pannun, chief of Sikhs for Justice, on U.S. soil.

During his press briefing late on Monday, Miller also said, “The secretary (Antony Blinken) has a close productive working relationship with his counterpart (Jaishankar). We have welcomed him here in the past couple of months. And of course, the secretary has travelled to India twice since September. President Biden has travelled to India this year.”

India and the US have built a wide-ranging partnership over the years with Modi and Biden holding several bilateral meetings where they stressed the need for further expanding ties for a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Image courtesy of The Scientist

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