Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden said that if he wins the November elections, strengthening relationship with India, a "natural US partner", will be a high priority for his administration. "India needs to be a partner in the region for our safety's sake, and quite frankly for theirs," he said in response to a question on India-US relationship during a virtual fundraiser event.
Biden had earlier raised heckles by calling on New Delhi to take necessary steps to restore rights of all Kashmiris and has expressed disappointment over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as well as the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam. “These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy,” stated the policy paper, Joe Biden’s agenda for Muslim American community, posted recently on his campaign website.
A group of Hindu Americans had reached out to the Biden campaign expressing their resentment to the language used against India and have urged it to reconsider the views.
At the fund raiser hosted by Chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners Alan Leventhal, the former vice president said that India and the United States were natural partners. "That partnership, a strategic partnership, is necessary and important in our security," Biden said when asked by an attendee whether India is critical to US' national security.
Referring to his eight years as the vice president, he said, "In our administration I was proud to play a role more than a decade ago in securing Congressional approval for the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, which is a big deal.".
"Helping open the door to great progress in our relationship and strengthening our strategic partnership with India was a high priority in the Obama-Biden administration and will be a high priority if I'm elected president," Biden said.
Both as the vice president and a senator from Delaware, he was a big supporter of India-US relationship.
-Inputs from PTI