India-US relationship broad, deep and growing, says key Senator

PTI New York, New York, United States of America Jul 31, 2020, 07.51 AM(IST)

India USA ties Photograph:( Reuters )

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Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in the violent clashes in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.

The relationship between India and the US is broad, deep and growing, a top American Senator said on Thursday and expressed condolences over the loss of Indian soldiers' lives in a face-off with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control.

Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in the violent clashes in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.

"The US-India relationship is broad, deep, and growing -- and we discussed how vital the cooperation between our nations is to countering common challenges and aggression in the region and upholding a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific," said Senator Cory Gardner after his call with India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

The Republican Senator from Colorado is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. His office said he had a productive phone conversation with Sandhu regarding the importance of US-India relations.

"Today I began my call with Ambassador Sandhu by expressing my sincere condolences on the loss of Indian lives at the Line of Actual Control between India and China," he said.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Sandhu to grow the bond between the United States and India, which will be supported by my Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, signed into law in 2018," Gardner said.

The Senator authored the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) of 2018, which was signed into law on December 31, 2018. The ARIA represents a generational policy framework to enhance US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region and to demonstrate a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific is a key priority area for the US armed forces falling under the authority of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), unified combatant command responsible for enhancing stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond.