New Delhi: There is structural soundness in the India-US relationship and it is certainly proofed against political check, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday, in comments that came against the backdrop of Washington alleging an Indian link to a foiled plot to kill a Sikh separatist on its soil.
US Principal Deputy NSA Jonathan Finer said the US and India have established a mature relationship that enables both sides to identify opportunities and work through differences.
Both Jaishjankar and Finer made the comments at a technology conference in Delhi.
“There is a structural soundness in the India-US relationship… I think from an Indian perspective, the India-US relationship is certainly proofed against political check,” Jaishankar said.
Earlier in the day, Finer separately met Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval in the first publicly announced engagement between the two sides after Washington’s allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
In his address at the conclave, Finer said the US and India have a “complicated history” and they have not always been “wholly aligned”.
Finer said there are many “difficult issues” that remain in the relationship “right up to the present day”.
At the same time, he said there is a bipartisan view in the US that both countries must seize some important opportunities that the world presents to the two sides, both geopolitically and economically.
The senior White House official is on a visit to India that comes days after American prosecutors linked an Indian official to a man charged with conspiring to assassinate Pannun on US soil.
“I think the US and India have a complicated history. We have not always been wholly aligned. We have not always found it easy to work together as economic partners, we have not always found it easy to be on the same side on issues geopolitically,” he said.
“I think in some ways the most important step forward for the US and India is recognising on each side that there is much more that connects us than divides us,” he said.
Finer was speaking at an interactive session at the Global Technology Summit.
The Biden Administration official said it is not that the both sides will agree on everything and that there are many “difficult issues” that remain in the relationship “right up to the present day’.
However, he did not elaborate on the difficult issues.
Finer said both sides demonstrated that “we can work through our differences in a constructive way without derailing the broader cooperative agenda.” “The US and India have established a mature relationship and that mature relationship enables us to identify opportunities that are in our mutual benefit,” he said.
The US Deputy National Security Advisor cited cooperation under Quad and iCET (Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies) as examples of such cooperation.
To a question on differences between New Delhi and Washington on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said it is much more complicated than just the area of differences.
“There are aspects of the conflict that we very much agree with. There are aspects of the conflict that we see differently,” he said.
“One thing that we have demonstrated is that even on the issues that are most challenging, we can work through them constructively and get to a better place,” he said.
He said both sides are trying to establish a “pioneering relationship” in the area of critical technologies that will be consequential for both the countries.