US urges dialogue with farmers, says peaceful protests are ‘hallmark of any democracy’

New Delhi: The United States on Thursday urged the Narendra Modi government to resolve its differences with the farmers over the recently passed agriculture reforms through dialogue, saying that peaceful protests are a “hallmark of any thriving democracy”.

A US State Department spokesperson on Thursday said, “We recognise that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy, and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same. We encourage that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue”.

The US, however, said that it welcomed ‘steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment.’

The statement from the State Department on India’s farmers’ protests comes hours after pop star Rihanna and environmental activist Greta Thunberg extended their extraordinary support to the farmers’ agitation in India. Also throwing her weight behind the farmers’ movement was Meena Harris, the niece of the newly elected US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Later on, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying, “The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,”.

“Respecting the sentiments of the protestors, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, an offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India,” said the MEA statement.

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