US President Donald Trump solidified his reputation as a politician who respects the national sovereignty of other countries on Tuesday. He refused to interfere in the internal matters of India despite several questions prompting him to do so in the press conference during his official visit.
On a question about the Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Indian Parliament in December, Donald Trump said, “I want to leave that to India and hopefully they will make the right decision for their people.”
US President Donald Trump on CAA: I want to leave that to India and hopefully they will make the right decision for their people. pic.twitter.com/5DqHKJbaCP
— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
On the matter of religious freedom, Donald Trump said, “We did talk about religious freedom. And I will say the Prime Minister was incredible on what he told me. He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly said that in India they have worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom.”
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“And if we look back and look at what’s going on relative to other places especially, but they have really worked hard on religious freedom… And we talked about it for a long time. I really believe that’s what he (Modi) wants,” he added. The US President further affirmed that the communal violence in Delhi was for India to deal with and he did not bring it up during his conversation with Prime Minister Modi.
Donald Trump’s refusal to pontificate on matters of Indian internal affairs is a marked departure from the stance of his predecessors who had a penchant for lecturing India on its internal issues. It is consistent with his approach to international diplomacy where Donald Trump has insisted that his administration will not seek to impose his values on any country.
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In his address to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017, Donald Trump had said, “In fulfilling our obligations to our own nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interest to seek a future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.” He had also said, “We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government.”
During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump had also warned against the ‘false song of Globalism’ and has been extremely critical of the military interventions the USA has made to impose Democracy in countries where there are no cultural roots for it to flourish. Consistent with his ‘America First’ agenda, it has been clear for some time now that the USA under his administration will refrain from poking in the internal affairs of other countries. And his answer to journalists during his press conference on the CAA and the communal violence in Delhi is consistent with the theme of his presidency.