No role in Indian protests, says US

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Washington: Faced with repeated questions about Washington’s stand on protests in India in support of social activist Anna Hazare, the United States has made clear that it considers it India’s internal affair.

“The ongoing situation in India is an internal matter for Indians. The US does not play a role in this,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters when asked if the US concerned about mounting protests in India.

But “the United States supports peaceful freedom of expression and assembly, and we encourage all countries and all parties to do the same,” she said.

“The US and India share common principles, common ideals, and common goals for our people. And so we’re confident that India will be able to address its current political disputes and tackle popular concerns about corruption using its democratic system,” Nuland said.

Asked if that included the right of people to conduct a hunger strike, she said: “Again, this is an issue for Indians to solve together and to solve it in the strong tradition of India’s democracy.” By Arun Kumar