Washington: The US today termed
as "incorrect" a news report that it is linking efforts of the
Indian Government to seek more compensation from the Union
Carbide in the Bhopal gas tragedy with the investment ties
between the two countries.
"The assertion that there was linkage between two
separate and distinct issues is wrong, is incorrect," Benjamin
Chang, Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council in
the White House said.
Chang was responding to a question about the report
in India that a senior US official has asked the south asian
country not to persist with its effort to seek more
compensation for Bhopal gas tragedy victims from Union Carbide
so as to avoid any "chilling" in the investment relationship
between the two countries.
Such a message was apparently conveyed by the US
Deputy National Security Advisor, Michael Froman in an email
to the Planning Commission, Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh
Ahluwalia, according to the report.
Chang, however, refused to make any comment on the
content of the communication, but asserted that making any
link between two separate issues is incorrect.
"We are not going to comment on the specific contents
on emails," Chang said, adding that any effort to conclude
that there is any linkage between two separate issues is
"We certainly recognize the importance and sensitivity
of this issue in India. We are committed to building a strong,
broad and deep relationship between our two countries as you
know," he said.
Meanwhile, senior administration officials were quick
to point out that the US has supported India?s position at
the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of
the World Bank.
"We are committed to have a very strong relationship.
We can talk about any range of issues and work them out
together through dialogue and discussion. I believe any of
these issues could be resolved through dialogue," the official
said, but refrained from making any specific comment on the
Union Carbide issue.
The official denied reports that there was any pause
in the relationship between the two countries on any issues
including Pakistan, Afghanistan or economic issues.
"The Indo-US relationships are in a very good
standing. The ground is very firm. The dialogue (between India
and the US) is going on very well," the official said.
The Headley case is the latest example of the close
co-operation between the two countries, he said.
"We are very much supportive of the dialogue with
Pakistan to resolve a variety of issues between two countries.
Encouraging India’s role in Afghanistan--the common
goal that we have for the stability and prosperity for that
country," the official said.
"Internally there is lot going on-- trade and
commerce. Externally we are working on regional stability.
I think there is going to be a lot of opportunity when the
President visits India in November to expand on the
relationship," the official said.