US Congressional delegation meets PM Modi

at 11:28 pm
US Congressional delegation meets PM Modi

New Delhi, June 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met with a seven-member US Congressional delegation led by US House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul, a day after they met and felicitated Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, angering China in the process.

In a post on X, the PM said that he deeply values the strong bipartisan support in advancing India- US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

“Had a very good exchange of views with friends from the US Congress in a delegation led by @RepMcCaul, Chairman of @HouseForeignGOP. Deeply value the strong bipartisan support in advancing India- US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.”

After meeting the Dalai Lama on Wednesday, Michael McCaul said that the Tibetans have the right to self-determination and should be allowed to practise their religion freely.

The other members of the delegation included former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Rep. Amerish Babulal “Ami Bera” and Rep. Jim McGovern.

The delegation members congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his election for the historic third consecutive term, a statement said.

They expressed deep appreciation for the scale, fairness and transparency of the recently concluded world’s largest democratic electoral exercise in India.

The delegation described India- US relations as the most consequential one and expressed their strong support for further deepening Comprehensive Strategic Global Partnership in all areas, including trade, new and emerging technology, defence, people to people exchanges.

Prime Minister highlighted the significant role played by the consistent and bipartisan support of the US Congress in advancing India-US ties, which are based on shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties. He reiterated commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations for the global good.

Prime Minister Modi also recalled his State Visit to the US in June last year during which he had an opportunity to address a Joint Session of the US Congress for a historic second time, the statement added.

The visit of the US Congressional delegation to Dharamshala came as US lawmakers last week passed the Resolve Tibet Bill, a bipartisan bill to enhance support for Tibet and promote dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

China has expressed displeasure at the visit of the US delegation to Dharamshala.

Beijing has also urged President Biden not to sign the Tibet policy bill, warning of “resolute measures”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian, in his comments on the US delegation’s visit to Dharamsala, said: “We urge the US to clearly see the sensitivity and importance of Xizang-related issues and earnestly respect China’s core interests on its comments on Xizang, refrain from any forms with the Dalai group and stop sending out to the world wrong signals.”

China refers to Tibet as Xizang.

“The so-called Tibet government-in-exile is an out-and-out separatist political group and an illegal organisation in total violation of China’s constitution and laws. It is not recognised by any country,” Lin said.

On Wednesday, the delegation had called on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi.