'Condemn Offensive Comments Made by 2 BJP Officials': US on Prophet Row

"We were glad to see that the party publicly condemns those comments," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

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The United States on Thursday, 16 June, condemned the derogatory remarks made by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal about the Prophet Muhammad that have elicited widespread outrage.

"We condemn the offensive comments made by two BJP officials and we were glad to see that the party publicly condemns those comments," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing.

"We regularly engage with the Indian government at senior levels on human rights concerns including freedom of religion or belief and we encourage India to promote respect for human rights," said Price, in response to a question on rising Islamophobia in India and the houses of protesting Muslims being bulldozed.

"The Secretary (Antony Blinken) said when he was last in New Delhi, last year, that the Indian people and the American people, we believe in the same values: human dignity, human respect, equality of opportunity, and the freedom of religion or belief. These are fundamental tenets, these are fundamental values within any democracy."
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price

Earlier, 16 Islamic nations, including Qatar and the Maldives, had criticised the remarks made by the two BJP leaders against the Prophet.

'India's Relation With Russia Developed When US Could Not Partner': Spox Ned Price

Responding to a question on India's oil imports from Russia despite the West's condemnation of Moscow over the Ukraine war, Price said, "We have had a number of discussions with our Indian partners, and the point that we have made is that every country is going to have a different relationship with Moscow. India’s relationship with Russia is one that developed over the course of decades, and it developed over the course of decades at a time when the United States wasn’t prepared or able to be a partner of choice for the Indian Government. That has changed."

"But throughout it all, we have made clear to our Indian partners that we are there for them, we are ready and able and willing to partner with them, and we’ve done just that," he said.

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