Amid a row over a US agency spying on the BJP in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a long-range view and voiced hope to deepen strategic partnership with the US by being sensitive to each other’s concerns.
Mr Modi met US Senator John McCain July 3 in New Delhi and conveyed that he was looking forward to a “result-oriented visit” to the US in September when he is expected to have his first meeting with US President Barack Obama and attend the United National General Assembly.
“Prime Minister conveyed his desire to further deepen and expand the strategic partnership, based on our shared values and interests, sensitivity to each other’s concerns and tangible progress across the full spectrum of bilateral relations,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The former Republican presidential candidate has been vocal about the need to improve and develop strategic ties with India. In a June 26 speech on the senate floor McCain spoke of India’s potential to work with like-minded powers in Asia, especially Japan, Australia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam to create an Asia-Pacific architecture that favours free societies and a rule-based international order. The US is increasingly concerned about the growing Chinese clout in the region and sees India as a potential partner to check Chinese assertiveness.
McCain has earlier spoken about cooperation with India on all fronts, including trade and defence. According to the statement released by the PMO, Modi and McCain also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. The statement stated that Modi emphasised that fighting terror should be a global priority.
The senator’s visit came in the middle of disclosures about the US National Security Agency (NSA) spying on the BJP in 2010. On July 2, India’s foreign office summoned a senior US diplomat and sought assurances from the US that it would not happen again.
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