The US State stated that its support continued Indian involvement in Afghanistan

NEW DELHI: US Congressman Francis Rooney (Republican from Florida) has come out in huge support for strategic relationship with India to counter terrorism and balance China.

Delivering remarks on the floor of the House on Wednesday Rooney said, “I rise today to recognise the critical relationship with our ally India. I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down with India's ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Vardhan Shringla to discuss the critical issues facing India and the importance of the bilateral relationship between India and the United States.”

“India faces many regional and geopolitical threats. Islamic insurgents are a constant threat, spreading terror throughout Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. We should support the government in Delhi in the continued fight against terror,” Rooney noted.

“India also faces an increasingly aggressive and assertive China that continues to export its malign influence throughout the Indo-Pacific region. China's behaviour is destabilising India's near-abroad, saddling its neighbours with unpayable debts, as was the case with the port project in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. India is also on constant alert with a hostile and unstable nuclear-armed state to their West--Pakistan.”

“India is a critical trading partner with the United States. India accounts for about 3 percent of the United States' world trade, which continues to grow year after year. Likewise, the United States is India's second largest trading partner--accounting 16 percent of India's exports. We must continue to work towards strengthening our trade relationship with India, increasing bilateral foreign direct investment, and consider the negotiation of a free trade agreement,” the Congressmen said in support of trade deal.

“Most importantly, India and the United States share the same values. As the two largest democracies in the world, our countries dual respect freedom and human dignity. It is then no surprise that the population of Indian-Americans grew by 38 percent between 2010 and 2017. Going forward, our relationship with India will only grow in importance. By sharing the same values, we inherently share similar interests and concerns. We must continue working together to confront dangers abroad, strengthen our economic relationship, and advance the cause of freedom and democracy around the world.”

These comments after Congressman Olsen’s comments are important at a time when left leaning Democratic Congressmen have launched a campaign against India on the Kashmir situation.

Meanwhile the US State Thursday stated that it supported continued Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

“The United States welcomes India's substantial investment in and assistance to Afghanistan," said Nancy Izzo Jackson, a State Department official in charge of Afghanistan.

"And we will continue to support efforts to achieve an Honorable and enduring outcome in Afghanistan that preserves our investment in Afghanistan's future," she told a conference on India's role in Afghanistan at the Hudson Institute.

In his remarks Shringla said that any settlement in Afghanistan needed to ensure that "there is no room for any terrorist elements to create a foothold."

"It is also important to deliver the message to terrorists that democracies do not surrender to terrorism and in the ideological battle of the 'emirate' versus the 'republic,' the latter prevails," he said.