Can Agree To Disagree Religious Freedom Important For Democracy US Ambassador Eric Garcetti CAA

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said religious freedom is an important part of any democracy and added that India and US can “agree to disagree” on certain things.

The US Ambassador’s comment came in response to the US ‘concerns’ over the Citizenship Amendment Act, of which the centre recently framed the rules. 

“It’s something that we monitor, and I said that. And I said in broad strokes that religious freedom is an important part of any democracy. Protecting minorities is very important. That doesn’t have to be read negatively,” Garcetti said in an interview to ANI.

“And I think it’s the job of monitoring what happens. That’s the job of an ambassador. That’s the job of a state department. The Ministry of External Affairs’ job and the Indian Ambassador’s job is to monitor and to report. And we simply said that,” the envoy added.

Earlier in a statement released this month, the US State Department expressed its concerns regarding the notification of the CAA in India and stated that it is closely monitoring the implementation of the contentious law.

“We are concerned about the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on March 11,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said during his daily briefing with reporters.

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had responded by saying that those having a “limited understanding of India’s pluralistic traditions” should not comment on India’s ‘internal affairs’.

He acknowledged that the US also has “ton of flaws” and is open to criticism and emphasised on the importance of finding common international law and respecting country’s specific history.

“We have a deep friendship. It’s very respectful. Sometimes we can agree to disagree on things and continue with our business and we shouldn’t take it with thin skin. We shouldn’t take it personally,” he said.

Eric Garcetti underscored the significance of the India-US partnership and expressed admiration for India and the depth of the bilateral relationship. 

Quoting US President Joe Biden, Garcetti said, “He has said that privately. He told that to me. He said, Eric, you know, this is the most important country in the world to me when he was asking me to become ambassador.” 

The Centre implemented the CAA on March 11 paving the way for the grant of citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

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