Page 44 - IACC Newsletter March-April 2014 Issue 03

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John McCain
: I don't know because we have a certain criteria... that we are supposed to act on by law but I think the
important thing and clearly the Prime Minister's desire to come to the United States to meet with the American people.
By the way I would love to see him stop in Silicon Valley where there are many Indian Americans who have done very
It is time for us to move forward. There are too many things happening in this world that require a strong US-India
Smita Sharma
So, as you prepare to meet Mr Modi, the Prime Minister. What are your expectations really and what is
your view on Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister?
John McCain
: My view particularly is that we can act together for example right now there are thousands of citizens of
India that literally risking their lives in Iraq because of the ISIS situation. A number of Indian citizens are now missing.
There are so many areas that we can work together on but what I would like to see and this is my personal opinion, I
would like to see us make progress on a free trade agreement between our two countries. I think it will benefit the
economies of both the countries. I would like to see more and closer military to military relationship. I would like to see
us work together when we face issues sometimes of aggressive nations. There is no doubt that China is acting in a way
which is unsettling its neighbors. I think that India-US and Japan partnership can be a strong force and an influence
towards peace.
Smita Sharma
Should I interpret as saying that India could be a possible strategic ally for the US to contain china?
John McCain
: I wouldn't put it that way. I think a strong US-India-Japan relationship can strengthen our ties with the
entire region and work together to reduce tensions in the region.
Smita Sharma
But, you spoke of free trade agreements and also there was this nuclear agreement which was historic,
which was inked between Manmohan Singh and George Bush. But nuclear commerce really hasn't taken off between the
two nations. Is that a disappointment especially to the Republicans?
: It’s been a disappointment but it's also been a disappointment - the law that was passed concerning liability...
because private companies and corporations that will be involved in this nuclear construction... are subject of liability
that frankly they are not going to take that risk and come here. I don't pretend to tell the Indian government what they
should do and not do but I do think it's appropriate for me to tell them that that law has to be changed if we are going to
encourage the kind of nuclear reactor development that India needs given their dependence on foreign energy.
Smita Sharma
But as you said, it’s time to move forward. To move forward, one would perhaps have to forget the
incidents of the past and especially if we were to talk of recent incidents like the arrest of Devyani Khobragde, the Indian
diplomat. Do you think that the Obama regime and the administration in a way misplayed that card, mishandled that
: I think the entire issue could have been handled in a much more co-operative fashion and sometimes these
things happens between countries and it's always regrettable...and I understand the outrage of the Indian people,
there's a free press here...
Smita Sharma
So if you have been in power you would have done things differently?
: Well, I would have like to have taken action to prevent the kind of sequence of events that happened but you
know it's easy for me in hindsight to say that I would have done it right. These things are unfortunate incidents, they
sometimes hurt the lives of people but the key to is... a strong enough relationship such as the eavesdropping that we
can overcome those issues for the greater good of our relationship. We're two huge and great countries and there is
bound to be friction of some kind or another from time to time.
Smita Sharma
Well I am glad you mention eavesdropping because that was going to be my next question. Infact, your
trip here to India seems to be over shadowed by those documents which have been put out by the Washington post