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White House says India free to decide its policy on any crisis

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White House says India free to decide its policy on any crisis
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John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council (File photo)


Washington: India, which remains a strategic partner for the US, is free to decide on its stance on any particular crisis or contingency around the world, including in the Middle East, the White House has said.

The remarks by John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, came in response to a question if the US sees any role for India in resolving the Middle East crisis given that New Delhi has good relations with both Israel and Palestine.

In the ongoing war between Palestine's Hamas and Israel, more than 10,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians comprising women and children were killed according to Gaza health ministry and 1,400 Israelis have been killed and over 200 Israelis have been taken hostage by Hamas.

"India is a key strategic partner, and I think you saw that on full display when Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi was here," Kirby told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday, referring to the Indian Prime Minister's state visit to the US in June.

"But we'll leave it to the Indian government and to the prime minister to decide what their stance is going to be on any particular crisis or contingency around the world, to include the Middle East," Kirby said.

India had described Hamas's multi-pronged attack on Israeli cities on October 7 as terror strikes but at the same time called for strict observance of the international humanitarian law following concerns over civilian casualties in Gaza in view of Israel's counter-offensive. However, officially India has not classified Hamas as a terrorist outfit, but India's friendly ties with Israel, especially on the military front, have been growing in recent decades, more so under the BJP regime since 2014.

"They (India) remain a key strategic partner. And we're dedicated to advancing that partnership every single day."

(With inputs from PTI)

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TAGS:John KirbyWorld NewsIndia's position on internatinal relationsIndia strategic partner
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