Sushma Swaraj raises snooping issue with US; Kerry calls India, America `indispensable partners`

By Manisha Singh | Last Updated: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 02:42

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: US Secretary of State, John Kerry said on Thursday that India and America were indispensable partners in the 21st century and there was incredible possibilities in the relationship between the two countries.

On the other hand, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said that India saw United States as their global partner and that Kerry was generous in his assessment of what the new government would do for the people.

“There is no ambiguity on strategic partnership with US,” she said.

Kerry and Sushma addressed a joint press conference in the national capital today. The US Secretary of state arrived in India yesterday.

Swaraj also expressed confidence that the meeting between US President Barack Obama and PM Narendra Modi “should raise relationship between the two countries to a new level.”
Kerry too expressed the same sentiments and appeared optimistic about Modi`s visit to US saying that “in weeks to come, we will take series of steps to pave the way for Indian PM`s visit to America in September.”

US had in 2005 refused a visa to Modi who was the Gujarat CM at that time over allegations that he had turned a blind eye during the 2002 riots that took place in his state.

Later, America started warming up to Modi when they realised that he may become India`s next PM after Manmohan Singh. And when the BJP led by Modi won a landslide victory on May 16 this year in the Lok Sabha polls, Obama personally called Modi and invited him to US.

On a philosophical level, the US Secretary of State said that America and India were two confident nations who were connected to core values and also that `we the people` was the common principle that they stood by.

“Moment has never been more right to deliver on our relation,” he said.

He also talked about the huge potential that India and US had in the arena of trade. “American firms lead in sectors where India wants to develop its infrastructure,” he said.

Kerry is due to meet PM Modi tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the snooping issue was raised by Swaraj with Kerry. Answering a question on the issue she said, “The snooping issue was raised by me with John Kerry. I told him that the people of India were very angry about it. Two friendly countries cannot snoop on each other.”

Responding to the same, Kerry said, “We do not discuss intelligence matters in public but we do value our relationship with India and fully respect and understand the views articulated by the minister.” “President Obama has ordered unprecedented review of intelligence gathering,” he added.

A classified document made public by a US newspaper earlier revealed that BJP was one of the six foreign political parties which was spied on by NSA in 2010.

Earlier today, both Swaraj and John Kerry co-chaired fifth Indo-US Strategic Dialogue in the national capital.

Kerry also met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.

Also Read: Joint statement on the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue

First Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 20:23

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