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'Let's Speak Out': Pompeo Talks About Religious Freedom, Draws Parallel Between Trump and Modi

File photo of S Jaishankar and Mike Pompeo. (Reuters)

File photo of S Jaishankar and Mike Pompeo. (Reuters)

Hailing India as birthplace of four major world religions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that United States and India should stand up together for religious freedom for all.

New Delhi: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called for speaking "strongly" in favour of religious freedom rights and asserted that the world is worse off when they are compromised.

His remarks assume significance as they come days after the State Department, in its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report released last week, alleged that mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018.

"India is the birthplace of four major world religions. Let's stand up together for religious freedom for all, let's speak out strongly together in favour of those rights for whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off," Pompeo said in his India policy speech at the India International Centre here.

He also said the US is pleased to see the UN designating JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist. Recently India voted against Palestinian NGO that supported terrorism at the UN and showed rewarding terrorism is wrong, he said.

"India is more and more standing up on world stage and the US welcomes its assertiveness," Pompeo said. He hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, saying they are leaders who aren't scared to take risks and the two countries are poised to do "incredible things together".

(With PTI inputs)


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