US Ambassador to India Richard Verma says demonetisation does not impact Indo-US ties

The US Ambassador to India also said the US’ relationship with India is much broader than that with Pakistan.

The US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday said that demonetisation does not affect bilateral ties between India and the US, and also condemned cross-border terrorism in strong words. He also said that the US’ relationship with India was much broader than that with Pakistan.

Verma was in Kolkata to attend the inaugural plenary session on “Indo-Asia Connectivity for Shared Prosperity.” He also visited the Indian Museum in Kolkata as part of his trip.

On demonetisation

Speaking to mediapersons in Kolkata on demonetisation, Verma said: “We understand it has an impact on people in their day-to-day lives, but we also understand the overall purpose for it. It doesn’t really have an impact on the bilateral relationship [between India and the US].”

“We understand what the prime minister was trying to do in cracking down on corruption. We also understand that it resulted in hardships on people. We have a lot of locally-employed staff in our embassies and consulates, and we have been trying to help them,” he added.

On cross-border terrorism

India has long been trying to corner Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, and Verma spoke in India’s tone on the topic on Wednesday, saying: “We strongly condemn cross-border terrorism. It needs to end and the perpetrators need to be held accountable.”

Verma also elaborated on the difference in the US’ security ties with India and Pakistan. “Our security relationship with Pakistan is complex. It is focused on counter-terrorism. However, our relationship with India is far broader,” he said.

Incidentally, Verma had waded into controversy the last time he had taken a major trip within the country. After he visited Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang had said: “Any responsible third party should respect efforts by China and India to seek peaceful and stable reconciliation, and not the opposite.” China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory.

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