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"We care about both countries": US Envoy Eric Garcetti on India-Canada tensions
New Delhi: US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti has reiterated that the United States cares deeply about its relationship with both India and Canada. Garcetti's comments on Tuesday come amidst heightened tensions between India and Canada after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged that there was an Indian hand behind killing of Khalistani operative Hardeep Nijjar.
"We care about both countries, and we care about their relationship. Our relationship is rock solid with both of them. And I think that all of us need to make sure that we can come together as countries that take seriously sovereignty, take seriously security, and take seriously the potential of our relationship," the US Ambassador said.
Garcetti's comments shortly after US State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller said that the US was concerned made by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau regarding the killing of Hardeep Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India.
"We are deeply concerned by the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau. We remain in close contact with our Canadian partners, as the Secretary said on Friday" the State Department spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the US envoy to India who was attending the 13th biannual Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) highlighted that India will again probably be the number one source of students from across the world and the US is very close to adjudicated one million visa applications in India.
Garcetti said, "A record number of student visas were processed this summer. Now, India, again, will probably be the number one source of students from across the world."
He further said that the US is anticipating 25 per cent of foreign students just from India.
"25 per cent we anticipate of foreign students in the United States will come just from India. And then, second, we also are very close to our 1 million visa application in India being adjudicated, which will be a brand new record as well," Garcetti said.
He further noted that the US is not doing this with more people.
"We're not doing this with more people. We're just working harder, working smarter, and making sure more Indians can come to America," he added.
Speaking about the IPACC, Garcetti said that it highlights how close the US and India have become to co-host all the heads of armies from around the Indo-Pacific region.
"It's not just the closeness of the two nations. It's the integration of all nations, both of us speaking for a free, prosperous Indo-Pacific. It's our values that guide this. And I'm so excited to see and to demonstrate the strength not only of a bilateral relationship but what happens when India and the United States are together," he said.
Earlier today, the US Army’s Chief of Staff General Randy George on Tuesday said the partnership between the US and Indian Army is vital for stability in the Indo-Pacific and the relationship between the armies is strong and growing stronger.
The armies of India and the United States will host the 13th biannual Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC), the 47th annual Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar (IPAMS), the 9th Senior Enlisted Forum at the Manekshaw Center in the national capital from September 25-27.
The gathering is notably the largest conference for land forces (army, marines, etc.) in the region.
The objective of these meetings is to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship.