The US has dismissed as "incorrect" reports that it is linking India's efforts to seek more compensation from the Union Carbide in the Bhopal gas tragedy with the bilateral investment ties, saying it is committed to building a strong relationship with the country.
"The assertion that there was linkage between two separate and distinct issues is wrong, is incorrect," Benjamin Chang, deputy spokesperson of the National Security Council in the White House, said.
Chang was responding to a question about reports that a senior US official has asked New Delhi not to persist with its efforts to seek more compensation for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims from Union Carbide so as to avoid any "chilling" in the investment ties between the two countries.
Earlier reports said that in an e-mail to Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, US deputy national security advisor Michael Froman warned that India's emphasis on Dow could have ''a chilling effect on the investment relationship'' between the two countries.
Froman apparently wrote this on 30 July in reply to an e-mail from Ahluwalia seeking US support for borrowing from World Bank. ''We are hearing a lot of noise about the Dow Chemicals issue. I trust that you are monitoring it carefully. I am not familiar with all the details. But I think we want to avoid developments which put a chilling effect on the investment relationship,'' Froman wrote in the e-mail to Ahluwalia.
Chang, however, refused to make any comment on the content of the communication, but asserted that making any link between two separate issues is incorrect. "We are not going to comment on the specific contents on e-mails," Chang said, adding that any effort to conclude that there is any linkage between two separate issues is wrong.