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Powerful US Congress panel to meet Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamsala

7-member delegation will be led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaulis

Powerful US Congress panel to meet Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamsala

The delegation’s stay is likely to overlap with the visit of US NSA Jake Sullivan who will meet his Indian counterpart Aji Doval to discuss the reasons for the absence of a breakthrough in cooperation in seven areas in critical technologies that they had identified in June last year.



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, June 15

The Centre has given permission to a seven-member delegation from the US Congress, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaulis, to meet the Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamsala. China had reacted badly when senior US diplomat on human rights Uzra Zeya had met the Tibetan spiritual leader last year, stating that “Xizang’s (Tibet) affairs are purely internal affairs of China and no external forces have the right to interfere”.

Sullivan to meet Doval

The delegation’s stay is likely to overlap with the visit of US NSA Jake Sullivan who will meet his Indian counterpart Aji Doval to discuss the reasons for the absence of a breakthrough in cooperation in seven areas in critical technologies that they had identified in June last year.

The powerful bipartisan delegation includes Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory W Meeks, House Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Ranking Member Ami Bera, and Republicans Mariannette Miller-Meeks & Nicole Malliotakis.

The delegation’s stay in India is likely to overlap with the visit of NSA Jake Sullivan who will meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval to mull over the reasons for the absence of a breakthrough in cooperation in seven areas in critical technologies that they had identified in June last year.

To meet under the rubric of the India-US Initiative on Critical & Emerging Technologies (iCET), the two NSAs will review the progress in areas such as semiconductors, next-generation telecommunication, artificial intelligence and defence.The political environment for iCET talks would be favourable in view of the visit of the congressional delegation which will also hold talks with Indian government officials, representatives of US businesses in the country and NGOs.

In a statement, McCaul said, “India is the world’s largest democracy and an important strategic partner of the US.”

“I look forward to meeting with government officials and the American business community to learn how we can continue to strengthen our relationship with India. I am also honoured to have the opportunity to meet with the Dalai Lama. Tibetans are a democracy-loving people who wish to practise their religion freely. This visit should highlight the bipartisan support in the US Congress for Tibet to have a say in their own future,” he added. The relationship with India had transformed to become one of the United States most consequential. “I’m also honoured to have a chance to meet the Dalai Lama and hear his views on how American people can help advance the Tibetan people’s struggle for autonomy,” he added.

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