US Senator Apologies for Mistakenly Terming India as Security Threat
Popular in the US Senate as the best friend of India, a prominent Senator has apologized for “mistakenly” terming India instead of China as security threat to the US.
In an interview, Senator John Cornyn, while defending the need to carry on with F-22 programme which is now being closed down by Obama Administration, said that the US needs these fighter jets to guard itself against increasing national security threats from countries like North Korea, Iran and India.
A prime supporter of deepening the strategic ties between the two countries, Cornyn had played a vital role in the passage of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. He is also founder and Co-chair of the Senate India Caucus.
“It’s important to our national security because we’re not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… we have graver threats and greater threats than that, from a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power; Russia, Iran, that’s threatening to build a nuclear weapon; with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of hitting American soil,” he said.
“Senator Cornyn regrets the mistake and apologises for any misunderstanding this may have caused,” Kevin McLaughlin, spokesperson for Cornyn, said in a statement after the issue was brought to the notice of the media by an Indian American.
“Senator Cornyn misspoke saying ‘India’ when he meant to say ‘China.’ As Founder and Co-chairman of the Senate India Caucus, no Senator has greater respect or admiration for India or values our relationship with them more,” McLaughlin said. “I know senator Cornyn. He is a friend of India and Indian American community. He considers India a strong ally of United States.”
“There is no other senator in US senate who supports India more than senator Cornyn does,” said Ashok Mago, chairman of US India Forum.
“He is the Senator who initiated and successfully established friends of India caucus in the senate. He spear headed the support for the civil nuclear and was first to be co-sponsor of the bill,” Mago said.
As Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, Cornyn is hosting a reception for new Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar at the Capitol Hill next week. This is for the first time that Senators are giving reception to an Indian Ambassador.