Congressman says no one should sit in judgment on India for position on Ukraine

Congressman Jim Himes speaking to Indian-Americans at an Oct. 28, 2022, meeting in Connecticut hosted by GOPIO-CT. Photo: GOPIO-CT

Congressman Jim Himes, a Democrat representing the 4th district of Connecticut, said the  United States and India “need to stand together as they are great democracies that stand for human values,” and that their bilateral relationship is fundamental to the stability of the world. Rep. Himes was speaking at an interactive session hosted by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-Connecticut chapter (GOPIO-CT) October 28, 2022.

 “We underrated the long-standing relationship India has had with Russia. We understand the constraints India faces. No one needs to sit in judgement of India’s position on Ukraine,” Rep. Himes is quoted saying in a press release from GOPIO-CT.

Rep. Himes recently visited Ukraine where he met leaders and saw the pain and suffering, but a strong will to win against Russia, he said.  While hoping that the war ends soon, the Congressman pointed to how “Democracy is under threat today more than ever,” and he stressed the need for India and the United States to “stand together to protect the democratic values.”

“There is a temptation to test the ties India and the United States have developed for centuries,” Rep. Himes said, contending that regarding Ukraine, the “friction between India and the United States is only temporary” Rep. Himes said, “We will stand united and will work together towards the common values that are dear to both the nations.” Describing India and the United States as “cousin democracies” Rep. Himes said his party understood the “critical need for strengthening the relationship between India and the United States.”

On the issue of long waits at the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India, to get an appointment for a visa, the Congressman said it was a solvable problem”but the right intention and motive is essential.”

“We need to advocate with local representatives in every state to solve this back log,” said Hines, suggested that Indian-Americans make lawmakers like Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York understand the long delays in visa interviews.

On the Green Card back log, Rep. Himes said, attracting skilled laborers is “central to our economy.” But he was unsure if the Biden administration would support doing away with country-based quotas that could free up visas for Green Cards to other qualified individuals. On a question, regarding the discussions about the Country-based quota not being used.

Rep. Himes serves on the US Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.

While commenting on the recent US decision to sell F-16 Fighter Jets to Pakistan, Rep. Himes said, “I have my personal perspectives on India and Pakistan. I understand who are our partners in security.”

The Congressman praised the Indian American community and its contributions to strengthening Stamford, CT, as a technological hub. “You are a secret weapon for economic growth,” and “the future of US innovations,” he said.



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