Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 March 2017
News updated at 3:24 PM IST

Hagel committed to ties with India: Pentagon

Washington, Feb 28, 2013, (IANS):
File photo.

As Chuck Hagel took over as Barack Obama's new defence secretary amid a controversy over his comments on India's role in Afghanistan, Pentagon - the US defence department headquarters - said that Hagel will work to strengthen ties to India.

Hagel's strong commitment to fostering a close defence relationship was reported Wednesday by Washington Free Beacon, the rightwing online newspaper that had disclosed a video-recording of a speech Hagel made in 2011 about Indian aid to Afghanistan.

"Secretary Hagel is strongly committed to the US strategic partnership with India and to fostering an even closer defense relationship with India that builds upon the work of Secretary (Leon) Panetta, Deputy Secretary (Ashton) Carter, and their Indian counterparts," Free Beacon quoted Pentagon spokesperson George Little as saying.

"Secretary Hagel looks forward to working closely with Indian national security and defence officials," Little told the newspaper that had dug out the controversial comments during Hagel's contentious confirmation hearings with his former Republicans attacking him for his positions on Israel and Iran.

In his previously unreleased 2011speech, Hagel had said: "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.

"And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being (that) the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years."

The remarks raised a furore in New Delhi. However, in a calibrated response to the Free Beacon, the India Embassy said that Hagel's 2011 remarks were not grounded in "reality."

"Such comments attributed to Sen. Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations, are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people," the embassy spokesperson said in an email to the newspaper.


"India's commitment to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure, and institutional capacities," the spokesperson said. "Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable."

The existence of the video of Hagel's speech at Cameron University in Oklahoma was disclosed by the online newspaper hours before the decorated Vietnam veteran was confirmed by the Senate after weeks of severe criticism from former Republican colleagues.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska, who won two Purple Hearts for his bravery as a soldier during the Vietnam War, was accused of being critical of Israel and weak on Iran's alleged nuclear weapon ambitions.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523