Sushma Swaraj refutes Donald Trump’s claim: Paris Agreement is India’s commitment to protecting the environment

US President Donald Trump claimed that India signed the Paris climate agreement to get “Billions and billions and billions” of dollars in foreign aid.” Indian External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj rebutted the US President’s claim in New Delhi. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that India had signed the agreement because of its commitment to protecting the environment and not because of greed or fear.

“What US President Trump has said is not the reality… India signed the Paris climate pact not because of pressure from any country or due to lure of money. Our signature in the pact was not because of greed, it was not because of fear. We signed it due to our commitment to protecting the environment… India will continue to be part of it irrespective of whether the US remains in it or not,” Swaraj told reporters while speaking on three years of the Modi government.

“This commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship rivers, trees and mountains. This is India’s ethos, it is our cultural heritage. If someone says we signed the pact due to lure of money and pressure from someone, it is wrong. I reject both these allegations,” she said.

On June 1, while announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris deal, Trump claimed that India had made its participation in the agreement “contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid”.

Speaking about the H1B visas, the external affairs minister said that the Indian Prime Minister would speak to US President Trump about the issue when he makes a visit to the US to meet Trump.

The external affairs Minister also hit out at Pakistan, saying that the Indian Government was always ready for a dialogue, but it was Pakistan that was creating unsuitable conditions for India. She said that no meeting had been scheduled so far between PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit in Astana Kazakhstan on June 8-9.

The External affairs minister made it clear that “terror and talks can’t go together.” Reacting to a Pakistani law officer’s remarks that they would take the Kashmir issue to the ICJ, Swaraj said “Pakistan cannot take Kashmir issue to ICJ. The Shimla agreement and Lahore Declaration are very clear on the Kashmir Issue that it can only be resolved bilaterally. The two countries are bound by these legal agreements.”

On China’s airspace violation in Uttarakhand, Sushma Swaraj said that this was the first time an airspace incursion had taken place. She said that the issue would be raise with the Chinese government in the future. On China blocking India’s bid to become a member of the NSG, she said that India had asked all friends of China, including Russia, to impress upon them India’s candidature. “Aaj nahi toh kal, kal nahi toh parson… hum honge kaamyab,” the MEA said.

Credit & Source: Shubhajit Roy

The Indian Express

Tony Joseph