US Senator urges Protection Secy to debate human rights points and sale of Russian S-400 throughout go to to India

A U.S. Senator on Wednesday urged U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin to deal with the sale of Russia’s S-400 missile system throughout his go to to India later this week, in addition to their considerations over the rights of the person.

“Profitable US-Indian partnership is crucial to fulfill the challenges of the twenty first century, and that includes urging the Indian authorities to uphold democratic values ​​and human rights,” wrote Senator Robert Menendez, President. from the highly effective Senate Overseas Relations Committee, in a letter to Austin.

Austin, the primary US Secretary of Protection to incorporate India on his first abroad journey, is because of meet together with his counterpart Protection Minister Rajnath Singh, in addition to Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Overseas Minister S Jaishankar. nationwide safety Ajit Okay Doval, throughout his go to to New Delhi from March. 19 to 21.

“In conferences together with your Indian counterparts in your subsequent go to, I urge you to make it clear that in all areas, together with safety cooperation, the US-Indian partnership have to be primarily based on adherence to democratic values.” Menendez stated in his letter, a duplicate of which was launched to the general public on Wednesday.

As chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee, Menendez performs a key function in influencing the nation’s international coverage and nationwide safety. Amongst his predecessors are President Joe Biden, who served within the publish beneath the administration of former President George Bush and former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Concerning India’s introduced plan to buy the Russian S-400 missile system, Menendez stated that if India chooses to proceed with its buy, this act will clearly represent a sanctionable transaction with the Russian protection sector beneath provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries By way of Sanctions Act. or CAATSA.

“I acknowledge that India just isn’t an ally of america and has historic ties to the Soviet and Russian armies. Nonetheless, if India chooses to go forward with its buy of the S-400, this act will clearly represent a big, and due to this fact punishable, transaction with the Russian protection sector beneath Article 231 of the CAATSA, ”Menendez wrote.

“It would additionally restrict India’s skill to work with america on the event and acquisition of delicate army expertise. I anticipate you to make clear all these challenges in conversations together with your Indian counterparts, ”he stated.

Whereas problems with democracy and human rights are exterior the purview of the Pentagon, Menendez urged Austin to convey these considerations to the Indian management.

“The Indian authorities’s continued crackdown on farmers who peacefully protest in opposition to the brand new agricultural legal guidelines and the corresponding intimidation of journalists and authorities critics solely underscore the deteriorating democratic state of affairs in India,” he stated. he writes.

“As well as, lately, the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment and associated authorities actions such because the Citizenship Modification Act, the suppression of political dialogue and the arrest of political opponents following the repeal of Article 370 in Kashmir, and using sedition legal guidelines to persecute individuals Opponents led US human rights group Freedom Home to strip India of its “free” standing in its annual world investigation “, did he declare.

As said within the Interim Strategic Course on Nationwide Safety, “Democracy is crucial to fulfill the challenges of our time.” “We should always search to accomplice with India in addressing China’s local weather change challenges, however in doing so, we can’t enable our democratic values ​​to crumble. I urge you to emphasize the significance of democracy and rights in your conferences with Indian officers It’s clear that respect for democratic values ​​is important for a powerful and lasting relationship between america and India, ”Menendez stated within the letter.


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