WASHINGTON: Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan has called India a “great ally”, one with which America should build an alliance and nurture it.
“The new Indian government is going to be a great ally for ours, and we have better security cooperation with them,” Ryan said at a leading American think tank on Thursday, the day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint meeting of the United States Congress.
He added, “That’s one thing that we need to nurture and grow. And those of us who are fans of Modi, you know, he’s a conservative who wants, who embraces free enterprise. He’s bringing needed reform to the country. That’s the kind of an alliance that we need to forge and build upon.”
Modi, who became only the fifth Indian prime minister to speak to a joint meeting of US Congress, was Ryan’s first joint-address speaker since he took office in October 2015.
Speaker Ryan also went further than all his predecessors, hosting an official lunch on Capitol Hill, home to the US Congress, for Modi.
The speaker went on to cite India and bilateral relations, as a contrast to the rest of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy which, he said, “neglected our allies, and we have basically rewarded our enemies, our adversaries”.
“I think you need, and in particular, specifically under Modi’s leadership, and he and I have discussed this at great length yesterday, (United States-India) have a great potential for the future particularly with the seas, in the Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, making sure that we help police the global commons and international order, namely China building, youknow, runways on islands in contested areas,” Ryan said, referring to China’s increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Except for his comments on India, Ryan slammed Obama’s foreign policy.
“We know that this new Obama foreign policy concept, leading from behind, can now be declared an unambiguous failure. It is making us unprepared. It is reducing our military capability and strength,” he alleged.
(With inputs from PTI)