Clinton pushes India to promote democracy in Myanmar

July 20th, 2011 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Chennai, July 20 (IANS) Against the backdrop of China’s increased assertiveness in East Asia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday pitched for a bigger role for India and reminded New Delhi of “its duty” to speak out against rights violations in Myanmar.

Reiterating President Barack Obama’s backing for India’s inclusion in a reformed Security Council, Clinton underlined that India was poised to play an important role in solving problems like piracy in East Asia.

Clinton, visiting Chennai after wrapping up the second strategic dialogue in New Delhi Tuesday, said India and the US can collaborate with other countries in the region to promote maritime security and jointly combat piracy.

However, echoing Obama’s exhortation to India during his visit here in November last year, Clinton asked New Delhi to use its leverage to push for democracy in Myanmar.

“As India takes on a larger role in the Asia-Pacific region, India has a duty to speak out against human rights abuses in Myanmar,” said Clinton.

She added that the US understood India’s economic and strategic interests in developing ties with Myanmar but exhorted New Delhi to engage “the Burmese government” to push democracy and help release political prisoners there.

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