NATO 'open' for engagement with India if India is interested

Elaborating on NATO’s future with India, Smith added that NATO’s door is open” for an engagement with India
Last Updated : 01 April 2023, 09:59 IST

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) ambassador from the US Julianne Smith stated NATO is willing to engage with India if the latter is interested, as reported by NDTV.

“The NATO alliance is open to more engagement should India seek that. NATO currently has 40 different partners around the World and each individual partnership is different. Various countries come to the door seeking different levels of political engagement, sometimes countries are much more interested in working on interoperability, and standardization questions.”

She also added that even though there are no plans to expand this proposal to a border global military alliance, the message of the organisation’s openness to an engagement has already been sent to India, “should India take interest in pursuing it.”

Referring to the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting that will be held on April 4 and 5, she added “at this stage, we would not want to invite them (India) to NATO ministerial until we knew more about their interest in engaging the alliance more broadly".

Elaborating on NATO’s future with India, Smith added that NATO’s door is “open” for an engagement with India.

Shedding light on India’s stand on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the envoy added that she is “grateful for the humanitarian assistance” that India has provided so far and also appreciated India's call for an “immediate” end to the war in Ukraine.

“We have been in constant communication with India about what more we can do together to hold Russia accountable and we have done that and worked with India, spoken with India several times since Russia started this war inside Ukraine," said Smith.

Talking about the relationship that the US shares with India, she acknowledged that despite the differences in the policies of the two countries, “we do share a commitment to upholding the rules-based order and ensuring that the key principles particularly as they relate to sovereignty and territorial integrity, those principles are respected.”

Speaking about NATO’s alliance with countries in the indo-pacific region, the envoy said that unlike in the past, NATO has now started to include “mention of the Asia-Pacific and the Indo-Pacific first and foremost in some of its strategic documents.”

Published 01 April 2023, 09:49 IST

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