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US envoy to NATO on strengthening ties with India News



The NATO alliance is open to further engagement if India seeks it, the US envoy to NATO has said.

New Delhi:

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith, speaking on NATO and strengthening relations with South Asia and the Indo-Pacific, said virtually that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is ready to engage More with India if interested. However, the ambassador emphasized that there are currently no alliance plans to expand this into a broader global military alliance.

“The NATO alliance is open to further engagement if India pursues that. NATO currently has 40 different partners around the world and each individual partnership is different. Various countries come to the door seeking different levels of political engagement, sometimes countries are much more interested in working on interoperability and standardization issues so they vary but the message that has already been sent to India is that the NATO alliance is certainly open to further engagement with India , in case that country is interested in achieving it.” Julianne Smith said in a virtual press conference.

“Membership is not something we’ve really considered with anyone in the Indo-Pacific or Asia-Pacific. The alliance remains the Euro-Atlantic military alliance. Its door is open to the region. But there are no alliance plans to expand.” this to a broader global military alliance,” he added.

Furthermore, speaking about the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, which will take place on April 4-5, 2023 at NATO headquarters in Brussels, the ambassador said that “at this stage, we would not like to invite you (to India) to NATO ministerial until we learned more about his interest in engaging the alliance more broadly.”

“Regarding next week’s Ministerial, the 4 countries I mentioned (Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Japan), are four countries that have already established formal partnerships with the alliance for many years. They worked closely with “NATO’s alliance on security challenges. These relationships have been ongoing. We’ve been working to strengthen these relationships. These are four countries that joined us at the summit last year in Madrid,” Smith said.

“In terms of the future with India, I think the NATO door is open in terms of participation in case India is interested. But at this time we would not like to invite them to the NATO ministerial until we know more about their interest in engaging more with the alliance broadly,” he added.

Appreciating India’s role in the Russia-Ukraine war, the envoy said she is grateful for the humanitarian assistance India has been able to provide to the country and appreciates India’s call for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine. .

“Both in NATO and in the United States, we welcome what India has been able to do for the people of Ukraine. We are very grateful for the humanitarian assistance that India has been able to provide, which is critical at this time and those needs are only increasing”. “I certainly appreciate the calls coming from India for some kind of immediate end to the war in Ukraine. That’s important. And we’ve been in constant communication with India about what else we can do together to hold Russia accountable and we’ve done that and worked with India, talked to India several times since Russia started this war inside Ukraine,” Smith said.

“The United States and India do not always share exactly the same political approaches, but we do share a commitment to upholding the rules-based order and ensuring that key principles are upheld, particularly those related to sovereignty and territorial integrity.” I think that is the most important part of our relationship,” she added.

Speaking about the NATO shift, the envoy highlighted how the alliance has started to mention Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific in some of its strategic documents.

“NATO has really changed in quite a remarkable way in terms of how it conducts disclosure and engages with its partners in the Indo-Pacific. If you go back 5, 6, 7 years, you would find an alliance that didn’t necessarily have a wealth agenda. with the Indo-Pacific countries.However, in recent years, what NATO has started to do is to include, the mention of Asia-Pacific and the Indo-Pacific first and foremost in some of its strategic documents “, said. .

“This is the first time that the alliance has recognized the importance of focusing on the PRC as a challenge to the alliance and why it is important for NATO allies to improve and deepen their relationship with partners in the region and NATO ends to do that. We are bringing our Indo-Pacific friends at NATO headquarters to what we call the North Atlantic Council in ministerial summits so that we can learn from our partners in terms of their experiences, security challenges,” added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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