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US, India should continue to stand together for democracy, international freedom: Blinken

US Capitol building. Photo: Pixabay

New Delhi, July 28 (MNN) US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken has said that at a time of rising global threats to democracy and international freedoms, it was vital that the US and India — the world’s two leading democracies — continued to stand together in support of these ideals.

Speaking during a discussion on ‘Advancing Equitable, Inclusive, and Sustainable Growth and Development’ here, he pointed out that successful democracies include thriving civil societies.

“That’s how citizens become more fully engaged in the life of their communities. It’s how we organise and provide the resources to respond to emergencies. And we’ve seen people and organisations come together throughout COVID-19 in creative and incredibly generous ways, and civil society is also where we’re able to build meaningful connections across our social, religious, and cultural differences.

“In short, if we want to make our democracies more open, more inclusive, more resilient, more equitable, we need vibrant civil society. As leaders in your respective communities, I think you know this better than anyone. I am proud of all the connections that already exist between civil society organisations in our countries. I want to support more of those connections to make the overall partnership between our democracies even stronger.”

Blinken said he hoped a little bit could be done to continue to strengthen the connections among civil society and between civil society and government.

He said his visit to Delhi was to underscore the importance of the relationships between our countries, to try to deepen bilateral ties and extend cooperation.

“Later today, I’ll have a chance to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, an old friend and colleague. We’ll talk about many of the critical issues our countries are working on together, from COVID-19 to climate change, defense, mutual security, trade and investment, education, energy, science, technology. The list goes on and on.”

The Secretary is on July 27-28 visit to Delhi to hold talks on a wide range of issues.

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