US Sen apologises for calling India a security threat
Washington: An influential American
Senator, known as the best friend of India in the US Senate,
today apologised for "mistakenly" calling India instead of
China a security threat to the United States.
While defending the need to continue with F-22
programme, now being closed down by Obama Administration,
Senator John Cornyn said in an interview that the US needs
these fighter jets for protecting itself from increasing
national security threats from countries like North Korea,
Iran and India.
Cornyn is founder and Co-Chair of the Senate India
Caucus and had played a key role in the passage of the Indo-US
civilian nuclear deal. He has been one of the prime supporter
of deepening of strategic ties between India and the US.
"It`s important to our national security because we`re
not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq... we have
graver threats and greater threats than that, from a rising
India, with increased exercise of their military power;
Russia, Iran, that`s threatening to build a nuclear weapon;
with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic
missiles, capable of hitting American soil," he said.
"Senator Cornyn regrets the mistake and apologises for
any misunderstanding this may have caused," Kevin McLaughlin,
spokesperson for Cornyn, said in a statement after the issue
was brought to the notice of the media by an Indian American.
"Senator Cornyn misspoke saying `India` when he meant
to say `China.` As Founder and Co-chairman of the Senate India
Caucus, no Senator has greater respect or admiration for India
or values our relationship with them more," McLaughlin said.
"I know senator Cornyn. He is a friend of India and
Indian American community. He considers India a strong ally of
United States. There is no other senator in US senate who
supports India more than senator Cornyn does," said Ashok
Mago, chairman of US India Forum.
"He is the Senator who initiated and successfully
established friends of India caucus in the senate. He spear
headed the support for the civil nuclear and was first to be
co-sponsor of the bill," Mago said.
As Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, Cornyn is
hosting a reception for new Indian Ambassador to the US Meera
Shankar at the Capitol Hill next week. This is for the first
time that Senators are giving reception to an Indian
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