India on Monday said it had been engaged in preserving the environment for 5,000 years, dismissing US President Donald Trump’s charges that it signed the Paris Pact to get “billions and billions and billions” of dollars from developed nations. “This is completely not true,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said about Trump’s charges he made while announcing the US exit from the Paris deal last week. She, however, said the American move on Paris climate agreement had not changed India-US ties.
“India signed the Paris agreement, not because of any pressure on out of greed. We are committed to the environment and this commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship nature. It is in Indian ethos. I clearly dismiss both accusations,” she told reporters on three years of Modi government. On the proposed US cap on H-1B visas which could affect Indian professionals, the Minister said New Delhi was in talks with US Congress and Trump administration officials. “Yes, the concern is there,” she said, and added no changes have been made in the visa policy “as of now”.
“There are amendments that cannot be made through executive orders,” she asserted and denied that the proposed changes in the policy had affected India’s relationship with the US. The Minister said the ties between India and the US since Trump took charge were growing with the “same speed” as was the case when Barack Obama was the President. “There has been no change (in the ties). We are moving forward as we were moving.”